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1876 — 1892 





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1876 . 

. . 1 

1885 . 


. 266 



1886 . 

. 297 

1878 . 


1887 . 


1879 . 


1888 . 

. 352 

1880 . 

. 118 

1889 . 

. 374 

1881 . 

. 147 

1890 . 

. 396 

1882 . 

. 176 

1891 . 

. 422 

1883 . 

. 205 

1892 . 

. 452 

1884 . 

. 234 

Index . 

. 473 


The year which will close to-morrow has, with one great excep- 
tion, been comparatively uneventful, and the absorbing interest 
of the Eastern Question has thrown still further into the shade 
transactions which in ordinary times would have attracted 
attention. Perhaps few politicians can remember without an 
effort that one obstinate civil war has finally been terminated 
within the current year. By a curious series of contingencies 
decisive changes in Spanish affairs have for some time past 
annually occurred in the course of the winter. At the beginning 
of 1875, Martinez Campos, by a military demonstration, restored 
the monarchy under the youthful son of Isabella II. The 
whole nation acquiesced in the accession of King Alfonso, and 
his Government wisely devoted its principal care to preparations 
for the suppression of the Carlist revolt. Marshal Serrano and 
his colleagues had previously done Tnuch to increase the strength 
and complete the organisation of the army ; and before the end 
of the year the largest force which has in modern times been 
known in Spain was ready for action. Early in February the 
generals commenced the operations which had been already 
arranged. The King, with General Quesada as chief of the staff, 
assumed the nominal command. Martinez Campos watched 
the French frontier, while Moriones and Loma moved from 
the West, and the main army advanced from the South. 
Tolosa and Estella, which had long been the citadel and centre 
of the Carlist defence, fell with little resistance, and in the 
last days of February the Pretender finally abandoned the 
struggle by crossing the border into France. The struggle, 
which had been maintained for two years with remarkable 
VOL. II '0 3 


tenacity, and not without occasional success, had commenced at 
a time when the Eepublican Government had reduced the 
country to a deplorable condition of anarchy and weakness. 
The national army had been demoralised and almost disbanded, 
and the Federalist rebels of Cartagena were virtually the allies 
of the Carlists of Navarre and Biscay. The voluntary levies of 
the Northern Provinces displayed characteristic hardihood; 
and, although their devotion to the male line of the 
Bourbon dynasty could not be accurately tested, their obstinate 
attachment to their own local privileges allowed of no mis- 
understanding. Even when the Carlist troops asserted their 
superiority in the field it became more than ever certain that 
the Carlist cause was hopeless. In the old Carlist war, after the 
death of Ferdinand VII., Zumalacarregui and Gomez had occa- 
sionally carried the war into the enemy's country, and Madrid 
itself had seemed not to be safe from attack. In the recent 
contest the Carlists never attempted, even when the Central 
Government was weakest, to descend from their mountains, and, 
notwithstanding the well-known sympathies^of the more extreme 
section of the clergy, no faction in the Provinces beyond the 
seat of war at any time declared itself in favour of the Pretender. 
It was perhaps an advantage to King Alfonso that the 
bishops and clergy hoped he might inherit the devotion of his 
mother to the cause of the Church. The godson of Pius IX., 
the young King had been educated in the straitest sect of 
Catholic orthodoxy; and when he ascended the throne the 
Court of Rome, while it affixed a price to its recognition and 
support, deemed it more advantageous to secure his adhesion 
than to commit itself to the less hopeful interests of Don Carlos. 
Senor Canovas del Castillo, the King's early adviser and principal 
Minister, had during the first year of the new reign bid high 
for the support of Rome by promising the Nuncio that the con- 
cordat concluded with Queen Isabella should be maintained. 
Finding it afterwards impossible or impolitic to redeem his 
pledge, he expiated by a temporary retirement from office an 
undoubted error of judgment. The easy victory over the 
Carlist forces proved that it had been unnecessary to make 
excessive concessions to a doubtful ally. The favour of the 
Holy See would have been in any case secured to Don Alfonso 
by the collapse of the Carlist cause. The insurgent Provinces 
were treated with well-judged leniency, and although their 



claim to the maintenance of their special privileges has been 
ostensibly rejected, the final settlement of the question is 
practically adjourned. The only attempt at a renewal of 
agitation on the part of the Carlists has, at the instigation of 
a section of the clergy, assumed the form of pious enthusiasm. 
Some shiploads of Carlist pilgrims have been despatched 
by their spiritual advisers to Kome, where the extravagance 
of their conduct and demeanour incurred the displeasure of 
the Pope himself. A prelate of high rank who had 
accompanied the pilgrims to Rome was prohibited by royal 
order from returning to Spain until he tendered an apology for 
his want of courtesy to the King's ambassador at the Italian 
Court. The restoration of internal peace rendered it possible 
both to reduce the numbers of the army and to send large 
reinforcements to Cuba, where the insurrection, which has never 
attained the dignity of civil war, continues to smoulder. General 
Martinez Campos, who is considered the most ambitious as well 
as the ablest of the younger chiefs of the army, has been induced, 
perhaps for political reasons, to accept the lucrative ofl3.ce of 
Governor-General of Cuba. Like many of his predecessors, he 
professes confidence in his ability to suppress the rebellion, and 
there can be no doubt that he will devote great energy to the 
accomplishment of his task. If he should succeed in rendering 
to the Crown and country a service of paramount importance he 
will probably not fail to claim rewards proportionate to his 
merits. When the war had been concluded there was no longer 
an excuse for the continuance of the dictatorship which the King 
or his Minister had inherited from their immediate predecessors. 
The Cortes were duly convoked after a general election con- 
ducted according to the established practice of Spanish Govern- 
ments, and with the usual result. The Constitutional parties 
and the Republicans, who had successively within four or five 
years commanded unanimous legislative bodies of their own, 
were represented by an insignificant fraction of the Assembly, 
Sagasta, formerly leader of the Parliamentary Conservatives and 
now of the remnant of the Constitutional party, is followed by 
a few adherents, while Castelar is the only Republican in the 
Cortes. Sagasta's ancient rival, Zorrilla, is in exile, although 
he has incurred no judicial condemnation, and he was lately 
accused, on suspicious evidence, of complicity in a plot said to 
have been devised by some of the unemployed generals of the 


army. Canovas del Castillo, himself a temperate and prudent 
statesman, is embarrassed, like the Ministers of Louis XVIIL 
after the second French Restoration, by the numbers and the 
violence of the ultra-Conservatives, who in Spain bear the title of 
Moderates. An ambiguous paragraph, which may be interpreted 
either as granting or refusing toleration to Nonconformists, was 
inserted by a compromise in the Constitution which, according 
to the national custom, has been enacted by the Cortes. In the 
disputes which have since arisen between the clergy and the 
dissenters, who claim religious liberty, the Government has 
temporised with a leaning, prompted by deference to the Parlia- 
mentary majority, to the most restricted exposition of the law. 
The extravagance of ecclesiastical pretensions in Spain may be 
compared with the most grotesque displays of revolutionary 
violence in the days of Republican supremacy. A bishop of 
Minorca has publicly forbidden his flock, under pain of excom- 
munication, to hold any intercourse in society or business with 
Protestants or other heretics. It is not certain whether Queen 
Isabella, who has lately returued to Spain, takes any part in 
public affairs, but the concessions of the Government to the 
Ultramontane party are naturally attributed to an influence 
which, if it is exercised, cannot fail to be pernicious. For the 
present Spain enjoys the great advantage of peace and rest. The 
chief danger of the Government is the exclusion from public 
activity of the Republicans and of the Constitutional Liberals, 
who together constitute the majority of the intelligent classes, if 
not of the whole population. As long, however, as order is pre- 
served, the material prosperity of Spain cannot fail to increase. 

In Italy a change of ministry, which apparently resulted from 
trivial or accidental causes, seems likely to produce important 
political consequences. In the month of March the Tuscan 
deputies, in resentment of real or supposed grievances affecting 
themselves and their constituents, combined with the regular 
Opposition to defeat the Government on the question of the 
Grist Tax. Signor Minghetti and his colleagues, though they 
ordinarily commanded a majority, immediately resigned, and a 
ministry of the Left, or the advanced Liberals, was formed under 
the Presidency of Signor Depretis. During the remainder of 
the session the new Ministers attempted no serious deviation 
from the policy of their predecessors ; and perhaps as in other 
constitutional countries a change of persons and of parties may 


have been in itself popular. A dissolution at the close of the 
session proved that the late Ministry had for the time entirely- 
lost their hold on the country, and the measures which their 
adversaries now propose will probably exclude them for an 
indefinite time from power. An overwhelming majority of the 
supporters of the Depretis Government has been returned to the 
new Parliament on issues which have not been clearly defined. 
It seems probable that the choice of the electors has been 
principally determined by the jealousy of clerical influence, 
which Italian Governments, in spite of constant provocation, 
have hitherto discountenanced. Although the parochial clergy 
would probably, for the most part, be willing to cultivate 
friendly relations with the secular authorities, the bishops, under 
the instructions of the Vatican, take all occasions of protesting 
against the " usurping dynasty," and against all modem changes 
in custom and legislation. The present constituency, consisting 
principally of the middle classes, is naturally impatient of an 
agitation against the principles which are identified with national 
freedom and independence, yet the election might have taken 
another turn if it had been foreseen that the Liberal majority 
and the Ministers would seize the opportunity of shifting the 
balance of political power by a large reduction of the franchise. 
There will be little difficulty in carrying a Keform Bill, which 
will greatly strengthen the two most formidable sections of the 
natural opponents of the present Constitution. The Republicans 
may perhaps become formidable in a Parliament elected by a 
widely extended suflfrage, and the clergy will hope for increased 
influence among the more ignorant portion of the rural popula- 
tion. Up to the present time the Ministers have deserved credit 
for prudence and moderation. No apparent change has occurred 
in the relations between the Italian Government and the Pope ; 
but the present Government and Parliament are less deeply 
pledged than their predecessors to perseverance in the experiment 
of " a free Church in a free State." The Pope's vituperative 
harangues tend to increase the alienation between the Holy 
See and the Italian nation, and probably additional difliculties 
may arise from the death of the astute and experienced diplo- 
matist who had long conducted the secular afi'airs of the Vatican. 
Cardinal Simeoni, now Secretary of State, is a zealous and 
intolerant Churchman, and he enters on his duties fresh from a 
partially successful effort to revive the practice of religious 


persecution in Spain. Judicious Italian statesmen probably 
wish to defer the adoption of any decided policy until the Papal 
election, which cannot be long deferred, has enabled them to 
judge whether a friendly adjustment of differences is possible. 
It would be unreasonable to expect that Pius IX. should in his 
extreme age modify the pretensions which he has asserted with 
increased vehemence, as they have been more and more generally 
repudiated by the rest of the world. The subordination by the 
clergy under the Pope's direction of national to ecclesiastical in- 
terests has produced a conflict in nearly every continental country. 
During the current year the struggle has been to some extent 
suspended in Germany, though none of the questions in dispute 
have been amicably settled. The peaceful and orderly kingdom 
of Belgium has been disturbed by serious riots directed against 
the clergy, who, on their part, lose no opportunity of irritating 
their opponents and of promoting agitation among the rural 
portion of the community. The incessant denunciation by the 
Catholic clergy of every form of Christianity except their own 
has so far succeeded that in almost all parts of Europe the 
assailants of the Church have become the intolerant enemies of 

The political history of the French Eepublic during the year 
would have been watched in England with greater interest, if 
general attention had not been concentrated on the Eastern Ques- 
tion. The provisional Constitution which had been established 
after the fall of Paris in 1871, which had since been in some 
degree modified, practically terminated with the adjournment 
of the Assembly on the last day of 1875. Notwithstanding 
numerous errors, the Legislature which met at Bordeaux, and 
which afterwards sat at Versailles, had rendered great services 
to the country. For the first time since the fall of Louis 
Philippe a Parliamentary Government exercised supreme 
authority in France ; and the Assembly, while it repressed all 
attempts to limit its sovereign attributes, voluntarily and 
gradually acquiesced, notwithstanding the adverse inclination 
of the majority, in the national will. The party which at first 
contended that the Assembly had only been commissioned to 
conclude peace after the war had become hopeless, afterwards 
assented to the assumption of constituent powers, as well as 
to the administration of the Government for five years by the 
representatives of the people. On the other hand, the purpose 



of restoring the Monarchy was, after more than one dis- 
appointment, abandoned as — at least, for the time — impractic- 
able by its most zealous promoters. The exaggerated scruples 
or the timidity of the Comte de Chambord, following on his 
reconciliation with the head of the Orleans family, left to 
moderate politicians only the alternative of a Republic. In 
the Constitution which was framed in 1875 the duration of 
the experiment was, according to one interpretation, nominally 
limited, though the Republicans profess to regard the power of 
revising the Constitution as only referring to details. The 
dispute is unimportant, for, when the appointed term arrives, 
the Republic, or, in a less probable contingency, the Monarchy 
or the Empire, will be perpetuated or established by the will 
of the country, and not in accordance with any legislative 
formula. One of the last acts of the Assembly had been to 
nominate its proportion of the members of the Senate, and, to 
the general surprise, a schism among the Conservative parties 
enabled the Republicans to secure a majority of senators -for 
life. The balance was redressed by the municipal and popular 
elections, which brought the two great parties nearly to an 
equality in the Senate ; and since that time casual nominations 
on the occurrence of vacancies by the Senate itself have reduced 
the Republicans to a minority. The Prime Minister, M. Buffet, 
having failed to secure election to the Senate, resigned a post 
which would in any case have been found untenable after the 
meeting of the new Assembly. M. Dufaure, who had also lost 
his election for the Senate, became Vice-President of the Council 
and Minister of Justice, with M. Ricard, who soon afterwards 
died and was succeeded by M. de Marcere, as Minister of the 
Interior. Of the Legislative Assembly, which consisted of 530 
members, about one -half were Republicans of a more or less 
moderate type, reinforced on ordinary occasions by 60 Radicals, 
of whom only a few professed the Jacobinical or Socialist 
opinions of M. Louis Blanc and M. Naquet. Next in numbers 
to the Republicans were the Bonapartists with 90 members. 
The Orleanists were nearly equal in numbers to the Radicals ; 
and the Legitimists, who had almost formed a majority in the 
former Assembly, numbered only 36. M. Thiers, who had been 
chosen for both branches of the Legislature, elected to sit in the 
Assembly ; but, either in consequence of advancing years or 
perhaps from a sense of personal dignity, he has not taken any 


share in tlie debates. The Due d'Audiffret-Pasquier was chosen 
President of the Senate, and M. Gr^vy of the Assembly. In 
addition to M. Dufaure and M. Ricard, the Ministry included 
M. Leon Say as Minister of Finance, M. Waddington as Minister 
of Public Instruction, and the Due Decazes as Foreign Minister ; 
General de Cissey, who was afterwards succeeded by General 
Berthaut, remained Minister of War. Both M. Biiflfet and M. 
Dufaure were elected by the Senate to supply vacancies. Nor 
can it be disputed that an Upper House ought, as far as possible, 
to include all eminent statesmen and leaders of parties ; but it 
may be doubted whether the Senate, which now contains a 
decided Conservative majority, will extend its liberality to 
eminent members of the Eepublican Opposition. Further ex- 
perience will show whether the Constitution will work in the 
probable event of a chronic antagonism between the Senate and 
the Assembly, Up to the present time neither House has 
cordially supported the Ministry, though the measures of the 
Government have been attacked in the two branches of the 
Legislature on opposite gi'ounds. The issue which more than 
any strictly political question excites the -passions of French 
Assemblies was raised by M. Waddington's proposal to repeal 
the power of granting academic degrees which had been con- 
ferred by the former Assemblies on free universities, or, in other 
words, on nominees of the bishops. The Minister of Public 
Instruction, himself a Protestant, was probably influenced either 
by the national taste for legislative and official symmetry or by 
a reasonable apprehension that the standard of education might 
be degraded under the stimulus of competition. The majority 
of the Assembly, in supporting the Bill, intended to check the 
supposed aggressions of the clergy ; and the Senate, which 
rejected the measure by a small majority, probably thought that 
the same question was involved in M. Waddington's proposaL 
During the course of the session M. Gambetta continued to 
display the prudence and moderation which had in the former 
Assembly surprised his early associates and opponents. In the 
absence of M. Thiers he has been the most prominent member 
of the majority, though he has not been recognised, as might 
have happened in England, either as the responsible leader of 
his party or as a candidate for office. The extreme Radicals 
have repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction with M. Gambetta's 
exchange of the part of a demagogue for the position of a 


statesman, but for the present the alliance between the two 
Republican sections is not openly dissolved. The elections 
proved that the peasantry had so far become converts to the 
Republic that they were willing to accept peace and security 
for property under the present form of Government. M. 
Gambetta protects his impatient allies from a political revolt 
which would be ruinous to their favourite institution. There 
is reason to believe that while the small landowners are shaken 
in their preference for absolute Government, the town popula- 
tion has also mitigated the anarchical extravagance of its political 
theories. The majority of the Assembly seems to direct its 
energies to two principal objections, of which neither is per- 
haps of paramount importance. A large number of contested 
elections were decided, according to a practice which has for more 
than a century been obsolete in England, on exclusively party 
grounds. An allegation of clerical influence was almost always 
sufficient to unseat a candidate on petition. The weakness of 
the Legitimists affords no protection against the jealousy of 
the Republicans, who, with better reason, dislike and dread 
the compact organisation of the Bonapartists. The Democratic 
section hesitates between acceptance and refusal of the alliance 
of Prince Jerome Napoleon, who, having deserted the cause of 
the dynasty to which he belongs, courts popular favour by the 
exhibition of extreme hostility to the clergy. Two disputes on 
questions intrinsically insignificant have lately produced a 
rupture between the Assembly and M. Dufaure's Ministry. 
The Republicans opposed a petty augmentation of the miserable 
stipends of the poorer parochial clergy, who will consequently 
be more than ever hostile to the present Constitution. Angrier 
feelings were roused by an attempt to terminate a dispute on 
military honours rendered at the funerals of officers of the 
Legion of Honour. According to the present rule, a guard of 
honour attends at the house of the deceased, and accompanies 
him to the grave, at which it was assumed that a religious 
service would be celebrated. Of late years it has become a 
point of honour with a section of Liberals to dispense with all 
religious ceremonies ; and the military authorities have, with a 
professional bias towards regularity and decorum, forbidden the 
attendance of the troops at civil burials. The Ministers pro- 
posed a compromise by which military honours were to be 
confined to soldiers ; but the Assembly rejected the arrangement, 


and M. de Marcere, having consequently been authorised by 
the Government to withdraw the Bill, was afterwards accused 
by some of his colleagues of exceeding his commission by the 
acceptance of a motion proposed by the Republicans. About 
the same time the Ministers came into collision with the 
Conservative majority in the Senate on an Amnesty Bill, which 
had been adopted as a compromise in the Assembly. In the 
earlier part of the year the proposal of an amnesty had been 
rejected by a large majority, but M. Dufaure now consented 
that future prosecutions should be confined to certain classes 
of the accomplices of the commune. The vote of the Senate 
probably indicated rather a feeling of ill humour than a 
definite policy of opposition to the Government ; but M. 
Dufaure and his colleagues determined no longer to continue a 
struggle which was reproduced in the form of internal dissensions 
in the Cabinet. They accordingly placed their resignations in 
the hands of the President, who was at first indisposed to 
accept, under the pressure of the Left, a ministry of a less Con- 
servative character. In the negotiations which ensued it 
appeared that the main object of the Republican leaders in the 
Assembly was to obtain for their party a larger share in the 
local administration. Many prefects and sub-prefects, notwith- 
standing the establishment of the Republic, are still Legitimists, 
Orleanists, or Bonapartists. The General Election proved that 
the influence of public functionaries has been greatly diminished, 
but the mass of the population still attributes to the Government 
whatever political opinions are favoured by its local agents. It 
is scarcely just to compare the anxiety of political parties in 
France for the appointment of prefects of Republican or Royalist 
tendencies with the modern American practice of assigning the 
spoils to the victors. It is not as a reward for party services 
but as an instrument of Government that Frenchmen attach 
importance to the disposal of executive patronage. M. Dufaure 
would have consented to retain office on the invitation of 
Marshal MacMahon if he could have effected a reconciliation 
with the leaders of the majority. At one time there seemed to 
be some risk of a collision between the Marshal and the 
Assembly. The Republicans insisted on the strict interpretation 
of the constitutional principle, long recognised in England, that 
the Ministers should be virtually the nominees of the dominant 
Parliamentary party. In accordance with the English doctrine 


they required not only the disposal of the Ministry of the 
Interior, but the removal of General Berthaut, who, as Minister 
of War, had with professional instinct opposed the attendance 
of military escorts at civil funerals. The Marshal at once 
declared that General Berthaut's services in the reorganisation 
of the army were indispensable, and that he would not allow 
the vital interests of France to depend on party caprice. To 
English politicians it appears obvious that in proportion to the 
importance of an office is the necessity that it should be held 
on a Parliamentary tenure, but the Republican leaders had the 
wisdom and patriotism to avoid a conflict which might have 
strained the new constitutional system. The Minister of War 
was allowed to retain his office with the consent of the majority, 
and the Marshal, with some sacrifice of personal feeling, con- 
sented to the nomination of M. Jules Simon as Vice-President 
of the Council, in place of M. Dufaure, and the Minister of the 
Interior, M. de Marcere, retired ; but the remodelled Govern- 
ment belongs, with one or two exceptions, exclusively to the 
Republican Party. M. Jules Simon and M. Martel, who is 
Minister of Public Worship, will have the opportunity of filling 
the public service with zealous Republicans ; or, if they prudently 
abstain from sweeping changes, they will make their subordinates 
understand that their places are held on condition of hearty 
co-operation with the Government The first year of the 
definite Constitution has, on the whole, rendered the permanent 
establishment of the Republic more probable ; but a long suc- 
cession of political experiments must precede its final adoption 
by the nation. 

In the United States continued commercial depression has 
not interfered either with political activity or with the execution 
of the cherished project of the Philadelphia Exhibition. The 
buildings, the collection of articles produced at home and abroad, 
and the public ceremonies were all on a colossal scale, and the 
visitors were numbered by hundreds of thousands. The Cen- 
tennial celebration of the foundation of the great Republic was in 
all respects successful, and it was satisfactory to learn that cordial 
relations existed between the authorities of the Exhibition and 
the English representatives. The only difference which has 
lately arisen between the Governments involved no interruption 
of the friendly understanding which is now becoming habitual. 
The Treaty of Extradition seemed on some points inconsistent 


with the provisions of a more recent Act of Parliament. Lord 
Derby and Mr. Cross, guiding themselves by the Act, argued 
that a prisoner surrendered under the Treaty could not be tried 
for an offence not charged in the warrant of extradition. Mr. Fish, 
on behalf of the American Government, protested against a 
supposed attempt to override an international contract by 
municipal legislation, but Lord Derby disclaimed a pretension 
which would have been wholly unjustifiable, and the recent 
surrender of Brent to the United States authorities is a pledge 
that the controversy will end in an amicable compromise. To 
Americans the return of the periodical election of a President 
has provided ample material of excitement. The provisional 
result of a disputed election has fully justified the expectation 
that the contest would be close. In 1874 a Democratic 
majority had been returned after an interval of many years to 
Congress, and in 1875 the Republicans had carried the most 
important State elections ; it was understood that nearly all the 
Southern States would vote for the Democratic candidate ; but 
the Republicans hoped to carry the principal Northern States. 
At one time it seemed that the contest would turn on the question 
of currency ; but the n^anagers of the election on both sides found 
that the preference of specie or of paper money was determined 
rather by local position than by party bias. In the end the 
Republicans relied mainly on the argument that the Southern 
negroes needed protection from the oppression of the Democrats, 
while their adversaries protested against the prevalent corruption 
of the party in office, and also complained of the irregular 
interference of Federal troops in Southern elections. The first 
nominating Convention was held by the Republicans at Cincin- 
nati. The project of re-electing General Grant for a third term 
had never been adopted by the party ; and the probable 
candidates were Mr. Conkling, Mr. Bristowe, as the representa- 
tive of sound financial doctrines and official purity, and Mr. 
Blaine, formerly Speaker of the House of Representatives, who 
appeared on the early ballots to be the favourite of the delegates. 
Eventually the choice fell on Mr. Hayes, Governor of Ohio, a 
lawyer and politician of good repute, who had served with 
distinction as a volunteer general in the Civil War. The 
Democratic Convention at St. Louis nominated the ablest and 
most conspicuous leader of the party in the person of Mr. 
Tilden, Governor of New York. His administrative energy had 


been displayed in the prosecution of some of the numerous and 
complicated frauds for which the ample revenues of the City of 
New York furnish materials. Mr. Tilden has during the 
contest directed the councils of his party with remarkable skill 
and vigour. Both parties had reason to congratulate .them- 
selves on their selection of candidates. The election itself 
has produced extraordinary complication and uncertainty. 
The Southern States, with the exception of Florida, Louisiana, 
and South Carolina, in which the returns were disputed, 
voted for Mr. Tilden, who was also supported by four 
Northern States, including New York and Indiana. Of 184 
votes which were required for the election of a President, Mr. 
Tilden received 183. It seemed at first certain that he would 
carry one out of the three doubtful States ; but in all 
three Republican Returning Boards, in spite of the protests of 
the Democratic party, have given certificates to Republican 
Presidential electors. The Republicans contended that the Vice- 
President of the Senate, who is charged with the duty of 
counting the votes, could exercise no discretion in receiving the 
official certificates ; nor were the Democrats unwilling to 
accept a doctrine which seems to be sound, because they found 
that the Governor of Oregon had given a certificate to one 
Presidential elector of their party. The issue of the controversy 
is still unknown ; but although the peace of the Union is not 
threatened, the successful candidate will be embarrassed during 
his term of office by the consciousness of a disputed election and 
of a doubtful title. It is evident that the Constitution is 
defective in the want of provision for the authoritative settlement 
of disputed Presidential elections. The jealousy of rival parties 
ought not to prevent the adoption of some legislative remedy. 
The United States have not been engaged in any external 
dispute, for the irritation which was formerly caused by the Civil 
War in Cuba seems to have subsided, and the outrages of Mexican 
freebooters on the frontier of Texas possess no political signifi- 
cance. Mexico itself sinks deeper and deeper into anarchy, which 
may, perhaps, eventually render American intervention necessary. 
An adventurer named Porfirio Diaz lately defeated Tejada, the 
President of the Republic, and, it has been reported, has taken 
him and some of his Ministers prisoners. The Civil wars and 
insurrections of some other South American States are still more 


It seldom happens that the intervention of the Home 
Government is not required in some part of the widespread 
dependencies of England. At the beginning of the year the 
petty war in the Malay Peninsula was brought to a close ; nor 
has peace been actually disturbed in any part of the British 
dominions ; but Barbadoes, formerly the most tranquil and 
prosperous of the West Indian colonies, has reproduced on a 
small scale and in a milder form the conflict of races and the 
economical difficulties which a few years ago caused the aboli- 
tion of Constitutional Government in Jamaica. Lord Carnarvon 
had opportunities of explaining to Parliament his reasons for 
supporting the Governor against the violent attacks of the 
planters, but he has since wisely removed Mr. Pope Hennessy to 
the Governorship of Hongkong, and it is probable that the task 
of reconciling conflicting interests and passions, if it is intrinsically 
feasible, may be more easily performed by a successor who has 
been hitherto a stranger to local quarrels. During part of the 
year Lord Carnarvon has been actively engaged in the aff'airs 
of South Africa, and some advance has been made towards his 
policy of Federation. Mr. Brand, President of the Orange Free 
State, has returned home from a visit to England, after agreeing 
with Lord Carnarvon to relinquish the claim of his Govern- 
ment to the disputed territory of West Griqualand in considera- 
tion of a money payment. Mr. Molteno, principal Minister of 
the Cape Colony, has given a qualified assent to the policy of 
Federation, for which recent events have furnished an additional 
argument. The Government of the Transvaal Eepublic, having 
provoked a war with the natives, has sustained a heavy defeat, 
and, unless the disaster is retrieved, the Dutch farmers may 
perhaps find it necessary to form a union for defence with their 
more powerful neighbours within the English dominions. The 
Colonists are at the same time aware of the danger of Caffre 
wars in any part of South Africa. It is on all accounts desir- 
able that some Federal authority should control the dealings of 
Europeans with natives. 

The visit of the Prince of Wales to India, which had begun 
in the autumn of 1875, was throughout prosperous and success- 
ful. There is reason to hope that the native princes, by whom 
he was everywhere received with gorgeous hospitality, were 
gratified by the opportunity of personal intercourse with the 
future Sovereign of India. The assumption by the Queen of 


her new title will be celebrated on Monday by a splendid cere- 
mony at Delhi, under the presidency of Lord Lytton, who 
succeeded Lord Northbrook as Viceroy. Lord Northbrook's 
services were properly acknowledged by his elevation to a 
higher rank in the peerage. The question which has of late 
chiefly occupied the attention of the Government and of the 
ofl&cial and commercial communities has been the depreciation 
in the value of silver. A reaction in price has lately revived 
the hopes of those who suffer by the change, and they are 
further encouraged by rumours of diminished production in the 
silver mines of America. Further east, long-standing disputes 
with China have been for the present terminated by a new 
treaty, negotiated by Sir Thomas Wade with the most powerful 
of the Imperial Ministers. The mission which was despatched 
to investigate on the spot the murder of Mr. Margary obtained 
no satisfactory result, but by the new treaty the Chinese 
Government agrees to pay compensation for the outrage and to 
provide security against similar disasters. The text of the 
treaty is to be published in the Official Gazette^ an embassy is to 
be sent to England, and certain additional markets have been 
opened to foreign trade. The jealousy of European intrusion is 
not seriously abated ; but it is satisfactory that the English 
Government should have been enabled for the present to dis- 
pense with the employment of coercive measures. 

The domestic history of the year has been monotonous and 
calm, except so far as it has been affected by the unusual excite- /^ 
ment of public feeling in connection with Eastern affairs. There 
have been, hitherto, no symptoms of a revival of industrial 
activity. The iron trade is still in the lowest state of depres- 
sion, and the absence of enterprise has produced unprecedented 
cheapness of money. The bank rate of discount, which a year 
ago varied between 4 and 5 per cent, has now for many months 
remained at the nominal level of 2 per cent, while it has 
practically been almost impossible to employ money in dis- 
counting bills. The joint-stock banks now decline to receive 
deposits at interest except from their own regular customers. 
A great diminution in the bank reserve has scarcely produced a 
perceptible effect on the value of money. There is, fortunately, 
reason to believe that the population is moderately prosperous, 
notwithstanding the dulness of trade. The Revenue Returns 
have thus far justified the calculations of the Chancellor of the 


Exchequer; and pauperism has continued to decrease. The Board 
of Trade Eeturns during the autumn exhibit exports diminished 
in value, but in some instances increased in quantity. Political 
events have been rare and uninteresting, for a few casual elec- 
tions have produced no material change in the comparative 
strength of parties. At the end of the session Lord Malmesbury, 
for many years a member of every Conservative Government, 
resigned the Privy Seal, which is now held by Lord Beacons- 
field in conjunction with his more important office. The 
vacancy in the Cabinet has been filled by Sir Michael Hicks 
Beach, who retains his office of Secretary for Ireland. No 
author or politician of the highest order has died in England 
during the year. Mr. John Forster was one of the most con- 
scientious and satisfactory of historical and biographical writers, 
and the non-completion of his exhaustive Life of Swift was a 
real loss to literature. Miss Martineau had not increased in 
her later years the considerable reputation which she obtained 
and deserved more than forty years ago by her Tales of Political 
Economy. Perhaps no other writer has succeeded so well in 
the questionable and difficult province of didactic fiction. Lord 
Sandhurst, an accomplished soldier, died prematurely in the 
course of the year. In different Indian campaigns he acquired 
a high reputation, and as chief of the staff he shared with Lord 
Clyde the credit of the last campaign of the Indian Mutiny. 
His capacity as an administrator and financier was rendered less 
available for the public service by a deficiency in the tact and 
temper which are indispensable to the management of men. 
Mr. Horsman, who died only a few weeks ago, furnished 
another proof of the insufficiency of considerable abilities, 
accompanied by certain defects of character, to ensure the 
highest success. Early in life Mr. Horsman attained a high 
position in the House of Commons, and at one time he had the 
opportunity of proving his fitness for high office ; but as Secre- 
tary for Ireland he was indolent and careless, and he afterwards 
subsided into the position of an independent and discontented 
member. His polished and elaborate speeches were, in his 
later years, almost always directed against his political allies. 
Among the few eminent foreigners who are included in the 
obituary of the year. Marshal Saldanha was well known in 
England, and his career was interesting because it had extended 
over fifty years of incessant activity. In the dynastic and 


constitutional struggle which ended in the establishment of the 
more liberal branch of the House of Braganza in Portugal 
Saldanha had taken a principal part. He was old enough to 
have been encouraged by Lord Palmerston and thwarted by the 
Duke of Wellington. At the age of eighty he had still sufficient 
vigour to put himself at the head of a military movement for 
the purpose of effecting a Ministerial revolution. Cardinal 
Antonelli, who died only a few weeks since, will probably be 
remembered as the last of a long line of ecclesiastical statesmen 
who have administered the temporal affairs of the Holy See. 
The late Secretary of State, though he early attained the rank 
of Cardinal, entered priest's orders late in life at the express 
wish of the Pope. In the earlier part of his long political 
career he continued the traditions of his predecessors, and he 
was not responsible for the changes which gradually deprived 
his office of nearly all its diplomatic importance. While, in 
accordance with his own personal convictions, and under the 
influence of the Jesuits, Pius IX. incessantly tightened the 
bonds of ecclesiastical obedience and exalted the spiritual pre- 
tensions of the Papacy, Catholic Governments one after another 
were provoked to assert their independence, and at last not a 
hand was raised to defend the temporal power when Kome 
became the capital of the Italian kingdom. Cardinal Antonelli, 
though he was thoroughly loyal to his sovereign, incurred no 
responsibility for measures which he probably deemed im- 
politic. The proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate 
Conception, the publication of the Syllabus, the convocation 
and the decrees of the Council of the Vatican lay outside the 
department of the Secretary of State. A graceful and adroit 
courtier and man of the world, Cardinal Antonelli formally 
represented a dethroned sovereign with dignity and propriety. 
His successor. Cardinal Simeoni, is a zealous advocate of the 
modern or ultramontane doctrines, which he lately asserted as 
Nuncio at Madrid in language too extreme even for the endur- 
ance of the Spanish Government. 

The purchase of shares in the Suez Canal and the mission of 
Mr. Cave to investigate the state of the Egyptian finances were 
fully discussed in Parliament. On the refusal of the English 
Government to take part in a Commission for the administra- 
tion of the revenue and for the adjustment of the debt, the 
Khedive entered into an arrangement with a body of French 



financiers, which was unsatisfactory to the bondholders, and 
which eventually failed to afford the expected relief. In the 
latter part of the year Mr. Goschen was induced to undertake 
the task of effecting a new settlement, which, if the Khedive is 
prudent enough to adhere to his pledges of economy, will restore 
the financial credit of his Government. During his visit to 
Egypt Mr. Goschen procured the dismissal of the Finance 
Minister, who is believed to have been the principal author of 
the Khedive's embarrassments. There is reason to hope that a 
costly and disastrous contest with Abyssinia will not be further 
prosecuted. The Egyptian army has on two occasions incurred 
severe defeats, and the expense of the campaign must have been 

The declaration of insolvency which had been made by the 
Turkish Government in the autumn of 1875 was almost for- 
gotten, except by the unfortunate creditors, in the political com- 
plications which have since absorbed the attention of Europe. 
The insurrection still smouldered in Herzegovina and Bosnia 
with the covert assistance of Montenegro and Servia. The 
Governments of Russia, Austria, and Germany, united within a 
year or two by a professedly cordial alliance, assumed to them- 
selves the duty of imposing on Turkey a scheme of administra- 
tive reform which might satisfy the demands of the insurgents, 
and perhaps prevent further disturbance. The task of drawing 
up the project was entrusted to the Austro-Hungarian Chancellor; 
and a Note which virtually repeated the liberal decrees of the 
Sultan, which have produced little practical result, was approved 
by the Allies, and in the first days of the year submitted to the 
Governments of England, France, and Italy. The civil equality 
of Christians and Mahomedans, the reform of the judicial 
tribunals, and the application of a due proportion of the public 
revenue to provincial objects might probably have satisfied the 
populations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, if reliance could have 
been placed on any promises of the Porte. The French and 
Italian Governments immediately expressed their assent to 
Count Andrassy's Note; but Lord Derby at first hesitated, 
because he both doubted the efficacy of the project and desired 
as long as possible to abstain from foreign intervention in the 
internal administration of Turkey. After the lapse of a few 
days, finding that the Sultan's Ministers were willing to accept 
the project, the English Government assented to the Note, at the 


same time intimating a doubt whether its provisions could be 
applied during the continuance of the insurrection. The Note 
was immediately afterwards published and formally accepted 
by the Porte. Nevertheless, no effect was produced on the 
condition of the disturbed provinces. The insurgents were 
probably justified in disregarding merely verbal reforms, and 
Servia and Montenegro, which were exempt from the abuses of 
Turkish administration, had no interest in the enforcement or 
disregard of Count Andrassy's project of improvement. The 
Turkish Government, with characteristic indolence, made no 
serious attempt to crush the insurrection by force ; and it 
would have been impossible to establish during the war a new 
civil administration. The Government at Constantinople was 
at the time in a state of hopeless weakness and confusion, and 
rumours of conspiracies, which were partially well founded, 
were connected with fears of some fanatical outbreak among the 
Mussulmans, who were generally suspicious and discontented. 
Early in May the general alarm was justified and increased by a 
formidable riot at Salonica, caused by a trivial occurrence. The 
French and German Consuls were murdered by the mob, in the 
belief that they had assisted in the rescue of a girl who had been 
converted to Mahomedanism, and, as usual, some of the local 
functionaries were guilty either of complicity or of connivance at 
the outrage. The result proved that the riot was an isolated 
occurrence, and the aggrieved Governments obtained from the 
Porte the satisfaction which they demanded ; but there was 
reason for apprehending other acts of violence in the capital or 
the provinces, and the Salonica murders proved to be the 
immediate occasion of further diplomatic intervention. The 
Emperor of Kussia made a hurried journey to Berlin, and 
obtained the concurrence of the German and Austrian Govern- 
ments in a document which was consequently known as the 
Berlin Memorandum. A preamble relating chiefly to the unto- 
ward event of Salonica was followed by documents more specific 
and more peremptory than the corresponding clauses of the 
Andrassy Note ; and in conclusion the Imperial Governments 
announced that, at the termination of an armistice which they 
demanded, they would be prepared to adopt more stringent 
measures, if a pacification were not already effected. The 
French and Italian Governments, as in the former case, accepted 
the Memorandum as soon as it was brought to their notice; but 


Lord Derby, after full consideration, declined,_Qll llie. part of his 
Government, to concur. The Berlin Memorandum, in fact, was 
never presented to the Porte, and it was, in consequence of a 
change in circumstances, tacitly abandoned by the three Imperial 
Governments, including Russia. The answer of the English 
Government was delivered in the latter part of May. About 
the same time an organised multitude of Softas, or legal 
students, had extorted from the Sultan the dismissal of the 
Grand Vizier, who had long acted in concert with the Russian 
Ambassador. His successor, Mehemet Rushdi Pasha, and the 
new Seraskier, Hussein Pasha, were leaders of the old Turkish 
or warlike party, while their most powerful colleague, Midhat 
Pasha, was known to be engaged in comprehensive projects of 
internal reform. The ulterior object of the conspiracy which 
had raised them to power was immediately afterwards disclosed. 
On the 30th of May Hussein Pasha entered the palace with a 
military "force and presented to the astonished _Sultan a judg- 
ment of the Sheik-ul-Islam which announced that he was law- 
fully deposed. His nephew, son of the late Sultan Abdul 
Medjid, was placed on the throne under the title of Mur ad V . 
The unfortunate Sultan only survived his fall by two or three 
days. The report that he had committed suicide naturally 
provoked suspicions of violence, but the result of an inquiry, in 
which the physicians of the different embassies took part, was 
to prove that the unfortunate Sultan, whose extravagance and 
folly had lately indicated derangement, had destroyed himself 
in a fit of indignation and despair. On the accession of Abdul 
Aziz strong hopes had been founded on a character which was 
said to be simple and manly ; and it was believed that he would 
devote himself to the reform of abuses in the palace and the 
Empire. It was soon found that the only improvements in 
which he was interested were additions to the strength of the 
army and navy. The loans which had first been raised in the 
time of his predecessor enabled him to build and equip a power- 
ful fleet ; the numbers of the army were largely increased, and 
a large and efficient force of artillery was provided. The rest 
of his revenues and of the money raised from foreign creditors 
was, to a great extent, wasted in reckless prodigality ; and in 
the latter part of his reign he approximated more and more to 
the worst type of a capricious Oriental despot. His subjects 
seem to have generally approved his dethronement ; but, un- 


fortunately, Murad V., either from natural incapacity, or in 
consequence of the surprise and shock of his elevation, was from 
the first incapable of discharging his duties. A tragic event 
which happened a fortnight after the deposition of Abdul Aziz 
may perhaps have contributed to the morbid depression of the 
new Sultan. A Circassian ofl&cer named Hassan Bey found 
means to enter a room in which the Council was assembled, 
and before he was arrested he murdered Hussein Pasha and 
Kaschid Pasha, the Foreign Minister, and wounded the Minister 
of Marine. The assassin seems to have been actuated by private 
motives of revenge ; but the disaster tended to increase the 
general feeling of suspicion and alarm. Within three months 
the Ministers found it necessary to depose Murad.y.-in, his turn, 
and to raise his brother, Abdul Hamid, to .theJiucpne. 

Immediately before the fall of Abdul Aziz events had 
occurred in the l^ulgarian districts south of the Balkan which 
have profoundly modified the fortunes of Turkey through 
the effect which has been produced on the opinions, and in 
some degree on the policy, of England. In the course of the 
spring foreign agents succeeded in inducing the inhabitants of a 
few Christian villages to rise in insurrection, and, although the 
movement never became formidable, a certain number of 
Mussulmans were put to death. The Government of Constanti- 
nople, then on the brink of revolution, was unable or unwilling 
to detach any considerable body of regular troops into the 
province, and the local authorities, in some cases under superior 
orders and elsewhere of their own accord, called the Mahomedan 
population to arms, and proceeded, with the aid of irregular 
troops, including " Circassian " soldiers in the district, to attack 
not only the feeble and isolated bodies <^_insurgents^ but the 
unoffending Christian population. The ferocity of the Ma- 
homedan levies was, perhaps, in the first instance, stimulated 
by panic ; but when all danger of resistance had disappeared, 
their worst passions were gratified by the perpetration of crimes 
of which indiscriminate murder was scarcely the worst. Cruelty 
was in some cases aggravated by the basest perfidy, and among 
the victims of savage licence were large numbers of women and 
children. In the accounts which were afterwards published in 
England, it was stated that 60 villages had been destroyed, and 
that 25,000 Christians had been murdered. An official inquiry, 
conducted by Mr. Baring, one of the secretaries of the English 


Embassy, reduced the number of sufferers, but in substance it 
confirmed the charges which had first been preferred by news- 
paper correspondents. Lord Derby, on receiving Mr. Baring's 
report, addressed to the Porte a despatch containing reproofs 
and demands for redress, such as have probably never before 
been received by a nominally independent Government. 
Although the Turkish Ministers promised compliance with 
his demands for the condign punishment of the chief criminals, 
the performance of their promises has been hitherto evaded. 
In a speech in the House of Lords Lord Derby had warned the 
Turks that a repetition of the Bulgarian massacre would do 
them more harm than the loss of a pitched battle. He might 
have added that the crimes already committed have cost their 
Government more than many an unsuccessful campaign. 
Although the general character of the Bulgarian transactions 
was known before the close of the session, it was only when 
additional details were published, a few days after the proroga- 
tion, that a sudden burst of indignation swept through all parts 
of England. During the latter half of August excited meetings 
were held almost daily in different parts of the country to 
denounce the conduct of the Turks, and in the beginning of 
September Mr. Gladstone added new vigour to the agitation by 
a pamphlet, in which he demanded the expulsion of the Turks 
— by which he explained that he meant the Turkish officials — 
from Bulgaria, if not from Europe. In his pamphlet, and in a 
speech to a crowded meeting at Greenwich, Mr. Gladstone 
severely censured the language of Lord Beaconsfield, while he 
professed a confidence in Lord Derby which he afterwards with- 
drew. In a speech at Aylesbury Lord Beaconsfield exhibited a 
strange incapacity to understand the popular feeling ; an^ at 
the Lord Mayor's dinner he concluded his speech with a boast 
of the military resources of England, which was thought to 
involve a defiance of Russia, and to contain a threat of war. 
By that time the active agitation had subsided ; but Mr, Glad- 
stone lately addressed an enthusiastic assembly at St. James's 
Hall, which had met to protest against war on behalf of 

In the first days of July, Servia and Montenegro, which had 
up to that time been" restrained by the advice or command of 
Russia, simultaneously declared war against Turkey. Im- 
mediately afterwards the Montenegrins defeated Mukhtar Pasha^ 


who commanded in Herzegovina, and during a desultory 
campaign, which was conducted carelessly and languidly on 
the part of the Turkish Generals, Prince Nicholas maintained 
his superiority in the field, though he was not strong enough 
to occupy permanently any part of the enemy's territory. 
General Tchernayeff, who had formerly attained distinction by 
the capture of Tashkend and by other proofs of military and 
administrative ability in Central Asia, assumed as a volunteer 
the chief command of the Servian army. In the hope, perhaps, 
of aid from a Bulgarian insurrection, he crossed the south- 
eastern frontier, as if for the purpose of advancing towards 
Sofia ; but, receiving no support from the Bulgarians, and 
finding himself threatened by superior forces, he almost im- 
mediately retired into Servian territory. The Turkish Govern- 
ment, at last aroused by the imminence of danger, now rapidly 
reinforced their army with disciplined troops drawn from all 
parts of the Empire. The generals in command, either through 
their own sluggishness, or perhaps under the influence of 
political considerations, conducted their operations slowly, but 
from first to last they expenenced no serious check. The 
Servian militia proved to be incapable of resisting the regular 
Turkish army, and Tchernayeff was reduced to the necessity of 
depending chiefly on some thousands of volunteers who arrived 
from Russia. Early in August the Turkish army took Gur- 
gusovatz, and the Servians were compelled to evacuate the 
• important post of Saitschar. The English Government, which 
h.g4>strQ»gly disapprovedJ:_he.declaration_of_war, and which had 
watched the fortunes of the struggle with anxious vigilance, lost 
no time, when the Turks had obtained their first successes, in 
endeavouring to rescue the Servians from the consequences of 
their aggressive rashness. On the 14th of August the English 
Consul- General at Belgrade was instructed to inform Prince 
Milan that an application to the Powers for their good offices 
would be favourably received by England. On the 23rd the 
Prince, in the presence of his Foreign Minister, asked the 
representatives of the six Powers to transmit to their Govern- 
ments his application for peace, and for a preliminary and 
immediate suspension of hostilities. The Ambassador at 
Constantinople, by Lord Derby's directions, at once urged on 
the Porte the expediency of concluding peace, and, on the 
refusal of the Austrian Government to sign a collective Note, 


Sir H. Elliot proposed to the Porte an armistice of not less than 
six months' duration, with a view to discussion of the terms of 
peace. The Porte objected to the form of armistice with a 
vassal Government which was technically in a state of rebellion, 
and a memorandum was drawn up in which terms of peace 
were formally proposed, with an intimation that they were not 
intended to be final. The Embassies were at the same time 
informed that an order for the cessation of hostilities would be 
at once despatched, and, consequently, the English Agent at 
Belgrade was directed to press the Servian Government to give 
similar orders. The English Government then suggested terms 
of peace, which were approved by Austria when Lord Derby 
had explained that in proposing the concession of autonomy he 
had no intention of favouring the establishment of a tributary 
State. In the meantime the progress of the Turkish army, 
though slow, had been uninterrupted. On the 20th of July 
and several following days Tchernayeff incurred severe defeats 
before Alexinatz, and again, on the 1st of September, he was 
defeated on the left bank of the Morava. On the 20 th of 
September a public notification by the Porte' of the suspension 
of arms was answered by an audacious proclamation, in which 
General Tchernayeff, obviously for the purpose of rendering 
pacification impossible, in the name of the army declared Prince 
Milan King of Servia. The Government of Belgrade at the 
same time rejected the suspension of hostilities. The Eussian 
Ambassador in London assured Lord Derby that his Government 
had advised the Servian Government not to renew hostilities, 
but that they could not press the matter, as they had themselves 
demanded a regular armistice. Immediately afterwards Count 
Schouvaloff announced a proposal, already made by his Govern- 
ment to Austria, that in the event of the refusal by the Porte 
of terms of peace, Bosnia should be occupied by Austria, and 
Bulgaria by Eussia, and that the fleets of all the Powers should 
enter the Dardanelles. At the time of the disturbance at 
Salonica Sir H. Elliot had sent for English vessels as a pre- 
caution against outbreaks, and a powerful English fleet has since 
been stationed in Besika Bay. As the proposal of a joint occupa- 
tion was disapproved both by Austria and by England, Prince 
Gortchakoff next suggested an armistice of six weeks, to which 
the English Government, having already proposed an armistice 
of not less than a month, could offer no objection. The other 


Powers assented both to the armistice and to the project of a 
Conference to be held either at Constantinople or in some 
neutral place. On the 12th of October the Porte offered an 
armistice of six months, which was necessarily accepted by the 
English Government as consistent with their own proposal, 
while it was rejected by Kussia as an alleged evasion of the 
demand for a shorter term. About the same time Russia 
commenced preparations for war on a great scale j and within a 
few weeks an army of more than 200,000 men, under the 
command of the Grand Duke Nicholas, was mobilised, and 
concentrated on the south-western frontier. By the end of 
October it became evident that, in default of direct intervention 
by Russia, the cause of the Servians was hopeless, and that the 
way was open for the Turkish army to Belgrade, which was 
incapable of defence. On the last day of the month Alexinatz 
was taken, and General Ignatieflf, who had already arranged 
with the Turkish Ministers a six weeks' armistice, was surprised 
by a telegraphic order from the Emperor at Livadia that he 
should demand an instant armistice, and in the event of a 
refusal leave Constantinople with the whole staff of the Embassy 
within forty-eight hours. The Porte wisely submitted to an 
affront which involved no substantial change of policy. From 
that time to the present the Russian armaments have proceeded, 
while the Turkish Government has also taken active measures 
to defend its territory. After the cessation of hostilities there 
was no impediment to the meeting of a Conference in which 
England is, to the satisfaction of all parties, represented by Lord 
Salisbury. It now remains for the Porte to accept or reject the 
proposals of the Governments. There is little difference of 
opinion as to the administrative measures to be adopted for the 
benefit of the Christian population. The guarantees by which 
the performance of Turkish promises is to be secured raise 
more difficult questions. If Midhat Pasha, who has very 
recently succeeded to the office of Grand Vizier, finally rejects 
the demands of Russia, war must immediately ensue ; but it is 
believed that the Russian Government would prefer a peaceful 
solution, and the efforts of England will be directed in the end, 
as in the beginning, to the object of averting a rupture, of which 
the consequences are incalculable. 


During the past year the country has been tranquil, if not 
prosperous ; though there are symptoms of an early revival of 
political agitation. It is difficult to excite interest in the 
contests of parties while general attention is fixed on the 
progress of a foreign war. The French election, with its 
grave causes and incalculable consequences, has occupied but the 
second place in the thoughts of English politicians. The sub- 
ject might, perhaps, have been more eagerly discussed but for 
a singular unanimity of judgment, which afforded no occasion 
for controversy. There was a similar agreement on the necessity 
of counteracting by all practicable methods the effects of the 
famine in Southern India. The only discussions which arose 
related to administrative details, which could only be arranged 
by the local authorities ; but a subscription of nearly half a 
million proved that sympathy for the sufferers was genuine 
and practical 

The harvest of the year in England was one of the worst on 
record, and the commercial depression of two or three previous 
years has not abated. The returns of exports show a consider- 
able diminution, though the large amount of imports proves 
that the purchasing power of the community is not seriously 
affected. The stagnation extends to every other commercial 
country, but hopes of an early revival are entertained in the 
United States. One indication of the unsatisfactory state of 
trade is furnished by the difficulty of employing money in dis- 
counting bills. From April 1876 to May 1877 the bank 
rate of interest remained at 2 per cent, and the market rate 
was so much lower than the official quotation that the London 
joint-stock banks discontinued their acceptance of money on 


deposit, except from their regular customers. In May the rate 
was raised to 3 per cent ; and, after a temporary reduction, it 
was advanced in October to 4, and afterwards for a few weeks 
to 5 per cent ; but the main object of the Bank of England 
was to guard against a drain of bullion, and the supply of 
money for purposes of discount still exceeds the demand. 

The depressed state of commerce and industry has, un- 
fortunately, not suspended the disastrous struggle between 
employers and workmen. A strike in the cotton trade at 
Bolton and a lock-out by the iron shipbuilders on the Clyde 
have caused much local distress. The colliers have been 
advised by some of their leaders to reduce the output of coal, 
in the hope of raising prices at the cost of the community. 
The construction of a great public building in London has 
been interrupted by a strike of the masons for increased wages 
and shorter hours of work. 

Another impediment to commerce and industry consists in 
the tendency of several European States to revert to the 
obsolete doctrine of Protection. The German Chancellor has 
lately favoured an increase of duties on competing foreign pro- 
ducts, and the Austrian manufacturers clamour for protection. 
Spain proposes by a forced construction of treaties to deprive 
England of the privileges of the most favoured nation, and 
Switzerland attempts to exclude English commodities from the 
market. Any extension of the Russian dominions will increase 
the area which is almost closed to foreign commerce ; and in 
some of the English Colonies legislatures returned by working 
men are bent on the discouragement of trade with England. 

It is, perhaps, not surprising that a few English manu- 
facturers, under pressure at home and abroad, are beginning to 
waver in their adherence to sound economic principles. More 
than one eminent politician has, consequently, thought it 
necessary to expound in public the cardinal principles on 
which modern English legislation is based. Notwithstanding 
occasional defection from the true economic faith, there is no 
danger of recurrence to the theories of reciprocity which were 
current thirty or forty years ago. The anomalies which are 
involved in commercial treaties are more fully understood since 
it has appeared that they tend to countenance and confirm the 
prejudices of foreign countries. The expiring treaties will 
probably be renewed, if the other contracting parties abstain 


from requiring additional restrictions ; but probably no English 
Minister will consent to an increase of foreign tariffs for pur- 
poses of protection, though he may not be able to prevent 
perverse legislation by foreign States. 

One among many causes of the continued depression of 
trade has been the war in the East, though its course has been 
watched with an interest and anxiety which were independent 
of commercial considerations. English industry has not even 
profited by the extraordinary demand for articles required for 
the use of troops in the field. The wants of Turkey have been 
chiefly supplied by the United States, while Kussia has made 
large purchases in Austria and Germany. The English money- 
market has been practically closed to both belligerents. The 
bankruptcy of 1876, which resulted, according to a probable 
report, from the counsels of General Ignatieff, has for the time 
utterly destroyed the credit of Turkey. English capitalists 
would otherwise not have been deterred by moral considera- 
tions or by political prejudice from advancing money to the 
Porte. The reasons which rendered it impossible for Russia to 
contract a loan in London were of the same character, though 
the risk was obviously smaller. During the Crimean War Eng- 
lish holders of Russian stock received their dividends punctually, 
and, consequently, the credit of the Imperial Government has 
from that time stood high in the London market ; but within 
twenty years the Russian debt has been largely increased, and 
it was foreseen that the extraordinary expenditure of the war 
would cause financial embarrassment. A Russian loan has 
been effected at Berlin on onerous terms; and the Govern- 
ment has found it necessary to provide for its wants mainly by 
internal loans and by a large additional issue of paper money. 

It is not to be regretted that the neutrality of England has 
by accident extended to pecuniary and commercial relations, 
though private transactions with either belligerent would have 
been strictly consistent with international law. The Russian 
Government is not likely to share the vulgar delusion that the 
Turks have received secret subsidies from England ; but 
calumnious rumours are among the most operative causes and 
the most mischievous consequences of national animosity. The 
diplomatic relations between the Governments have been some- 
times severely strained, and the Russian Press has been, before 
the war and during its progress, largely occupied with menaces 


and reproaclies addressed to England. It may be admitted 
that the abandonment of the traditional policy of protecting 
Turkey has been sometimes accompanied or disguised by the 
use of language which was not calculated to conciliate Russian 

A year ago it seemed to sanguine politicians possible that 
both Powers might agree on a common policy. The Conference 
at Constantinople had then lately begun its labours, and it was 
believed that Lord Salisbury and General Ignatieff were acting 
in perfect concert. The chief English plenipotentiary was, 
perhaps, surprised at the readiness with which his Russian 
colleague acceded to his suggestions. One of the main objects 
of the English Government had been to moderate the demands 
of Russia, and the task proved to be easy beyond expectation. 
It was at last proposed by the united plenipotentiaries that the 
Porte should allow some of its provinces to be occupied by a 
foreign garrison, and that the reforms, on which no nominal dif- 
ference existed, should be placed under the control of Com- 
missioners approved by the European Powers. In the last 
days of 1876 the Turkish Ministers refused their assent, and 
the project was consequently modified. The final proposals 
were confined to a smaU addition of territory to Montenegro, 
to the conclusion of peace with Servia on the basis of the state 
of things before the war, to the nomination by the Porte, in 
concert with the Powers, of Governors-General of Bosnia, 
Herzegovina, and Bulgaria, to some minor reforms, and to the 
appointment by the Powers of two Commissioners who were to 
superintend the observance of the regulations. 

Midhat Pasha, then Grand Vizier, having at once determined 
to reject the proposals, went through the form of consulting a 
Grand Council of Mussulman and Christian dignitaries, who 
unanimously refused their consent. In the middle of January 
the plenipotentiaries, after a speech of menace to the Turks by 
General Ignatieff, declared the dissolution of the Conference, 
and with the resident ambassadors they left Constantinople. 
The expectation that Sir. Henry Elliot would not return to 
his post was afterwards confirmed by the appointment of Mr. 
Layard temporarily, and at last permanently, as his successor 
in the Embassy. The party which holds the opinions of Mr. 
Gladstone has since attributed the failure of the Conference to 
the public announcement that England would in no contingency 


use coercive measures against Turkey. Lord Salisbury, on the 
other hand, has maintained that joint coercion by all the 
Powers was impracticable, that the Porte would probably not 
have yielded to the joint pressure of Russia and England, and 
that it would have been undignified and weak to imply a threat 
of intervention if the Government had resolved to abstain from 
coercive measures. Except for purposes of party attack and 
recrimination, the whole controversy is obsolete. When Mr. 
Gladstone's resolutions were proposed the Liberal leaders 
declined to approve a policy of intervention, and measures 
which are not supported by an actual or prospective majority 
in Parliament lie for the time outside the region of practical 
politics. On one point alone the Porte yielded to the repre- 
sentations of the Great Powers, by concluding peace with 
Servia on the terms which had been recommended by the 

In the previous autumn, after the defeat of the Servian 
troops and their volunteer auxiliaries from Russia, the Turkish 
Government had suspended the advance of its army on the 
peremptory demand of the Emperor Alexander. For the 
purpose of removing an impediment to the maintenance of 
peace, the English Government had urgently pressed on Turkey 
the expediency of ending the contest in Servia without delay. 
The Skuptschina was convoked to consider the treaty of peace, 
and, after giving its approval, it was immediately dissolved. 
The Prince and his Ministers have since accepted a subsidy 
from Russia, and have made all preparations for a campaign. 
They prudently deferred taking the field so long as the fortune 
of war in Bulgaria remained doubtful. It was only after the 
fall of Plevna that the Servian Government declared war. 
The conclusion of peace with Servia was the last official act of 
the Grand Vizier who had seemed to be all-powerful in the 

Midhat Pasha must share with all other advisers of the 
Porte any blame which may be supposed to attach to the 
obstinate rejection of the demands of Russia and the advice of 
England. If he was not a prescient statesman, he might at 
least claim superiority over the rivals who effected his over- 
throw. In the government of more than one province he had 
displayed both administrative ability and a regard for law and 
justice which is rare in Turkey. In the Vilayet of the Danube 


he had proved that it was possible for Mussulmans and Bul- 
garians to live in peace and to prosper under a firm and honest 
ruler. He was the principal author of the deposition of Abdul 
Aziz and of the subsequent removal of Murad. His favourite 
project of a Constitution framed on a French or Spanish model 
naturally provoked ridicule and scepticism ; but the Turkish 
Parliament, when it assembled after the fall of its founder, 
disappointed to a certain extent the unfavourable anticipations 
which had been formed ; and it has now begun its second 

If the Turkish Empire survives the war, it seems not im- 
possible that some form of representation may furnish a check 
on the abuses and corruption which prevail at Constantinople. 
The courtiers of the palace had little diflEiculty in persuading 
the Sultan that the Minister who had deposed two of his pre- 
decessors, and who endeavoured to limit his absolute power, 
might become formidable to the throne. Early in February 
the Grand Vizier was suddenly arrested, and immediately 
afterwards he was banished from the Turkish dominions. 
There is no reason to suspect Midhat Pasha of the treasonable 
designs which were suggested in excuse of his dismissal. Con- 
trary to expectation, the Sultan announced the maintenance of 
the Constitution, though it was openly disregarded in the 
arrest and exile of Midhat. Edhem Pasha, previously Foreign 
Minister, became Grand Vizier ; but it is believed that the 
real power of the Government is exercised by Mahmoud Damad, 
the brother-in-law and chief favourite of the Sultan. AJl the 
disasters which have befallen the Turkish arms are popularly 
attributed to Mahmoud ; but it seems that his ascendency has 
not hitherto been shaken. 

Within two or three weeks after the departure of General 
Ignatieff from Constantinople the Russian Government issued 
a Circular to its representatives abroad in which the earlier 
declaration of the Emperor, that he would compel the sub- 
mission of the Porte with or without the aid of his allies, was 
reproduced in substance. As it was well known that no other 
Power was prepared to join in the coercion of Turkey, the 
Circular was rightly interpreted as a provisional or prospective 
declaration of war. When the English Parliament met, in the 
first week of February, Lord Derby expressed a fear that the 
prevention of a rupture was almost hopeless, though all attempts 


at negotiation had not been abandoned. A few days afterwards 
General Ignatieff arrived in England, having visited Berlin 
and Paris on his way. After a long discussion General 
Ignatieff and the resident Russian Ambassador, Count Schou- 
valoff, arranged with Lord Derby the signature of a protocol, 
which was so composed as to evade insuperable differences of 

As a further security against possible embarrassment and 
misunderstanding, Lord Derby appended to the protocol a 
memorandum, by which the adhesion of the English Govern- 
ment was by anticipation withdrawn, if Russia, after all, 
declared war. The other Powers assented without difficulty to 
the vague phrases of the protocol, and hopes were entertained in 
England not so much that Russia would be satisfied with a 
compromise as that the mission of General Ignatieff had been 
suggested by a desire for peace. It is still uncertain whether 
the Russian Government had any purpose in the negotiation 
except to gain time. The hope of peace, which had, apparently, 
not been shared by the Turks, was rudely disappointed. 
Prince Gortchakoff immediately converted the protocol into an 
ultimatum by demanding that the Porte should both im- 
mediately adopt the recommendations of the Powers, and send 
an Ambassador to St. Petersburg in token of submission. The 
Porte refused, and on the 24th of April the Emperor published 
a declaration of war, and at once directed his armies to cross 
the frontier both in Europe and Asia. An argumentative 
protest by Lord Derby against this step could not be expected 
to have any effect, except in placing on record the opinion of 
the English Government. 

Preparations for invasion had been carefully made during 
the previous year. A large army had been massed in Bes- 
sarabia, in the immediate neighbourhood of the frontier; and 
the Emperor's brother, the Grand Duke Nicholas, appointed 
Commander-in-Chief, began to cross the Pruth almost simul- 
taneously with the declaration of war. The army destined to 
operate in Bulgaria was supposed to consist of 200,000 men, 
including a large force of cavalry and the due proportion of 
artillery. Through neglect and malversation many of the 
battalions were not complete in numbers, and the actual force 
at the beginning of the campaign has never been accurately 
ascertained. Although the province of Roumania was theoreti- 


cally a dependency of Turkey, the invading army found itself 
in a friendly country between the Pruth and the Danube ; and 
the reigning Prince, anxious to acquire military renown and an 
increase of territory, after going through the form of discovering 
some cause of quarrel with Turkey, eagerly pressed his alliance 
on Eussia. His offers of active co-operation were at first coldly 
received, but after the early miscarriages of the campaign the 
aid of the Koumanian army became more than welcome, and 
Prince Charles, as leader of 40,000 or 50,000 men, has 
rendered valuable service to his powerful ally. Though the 
Roumanian infantry are, as might be expected, inferior in 
tenacity to the Russians and the Turks, their conduct in the 
first war in which the State has been engaged has done them 
no discredit. The artillery and cavalry appear to be efficient ; 
and it is probable that during a part of the campaign the 
Russians would not have been strong enough to continue 
offensive operations but for the addition to their numbers 
which was furnished by Roumania. 

For two months after the declaration of war the hostile 
armies in Europe had not come into collision. Although the 
Roumanian railways with their rolling stock were at once 
placed at the disposal of the Russian staff, the transit of troops 
and stores was necessarily tedious ; and time was required for 
the provision of magazines and for preparations for crossing the 
Danube. A daring soldier in command of the Turkish army 
might have done great service by anticipating the Russian ad- 
vance. It might not have been impossible to overpower and 
disarm the whole or part of the Roumanian army ; and the line 
of railway might certainly have been broken up, with the result 
of delaying the invasion. 

Abdul Kerim, who commanded in chief on the Danube, 
incurred some suspicion of treachery by his obstinate inaction, 
until public indignation long afterwards compelled his dis- 
missal. His age and infirmities may, perhaps, afford a sufficient 
explanation of his ruinous sluggishness. The Russians were 
not molested during their passage through Roumania ; and 
they found that the anxiety with which they prepared for the 
hazardous operation of crossing the Danube was unexpectedly 
superfluous. Exactly two months after the declaration of war 
the first Russian troops entered Bulgaria. The preparations in 
Asia were completed at an earlier date ; and there was there 



no strip of neutral territory to be traversed before the hostile 
armies met. The Russian army assembled at Alexandropol 
under the Grand Duke Michael, Governor -General of the 
Caucasus, crossed the Turkish frontier as soon as war was 
declared, and advanced simultaneously against Ears and 
Batoum. In the middle of May the fortress of Ardahan 
surrendered after a feeble resistance, with strong suspicions of 
corruption and treason on the part of the Governor. General 
Loris Melikoff, commanding under the Grand Duke, im- 
mediately formed the siege of Kars, and with the remainder of 
his forces he advanced in the direction of Erzeroum. 

The command of the Turkish army was entrusted to 
Mukhtar Pasha, who had in the previous year failed to obtain 
any considerable success in Montenegro. The present campaign, 
notwithstanding its disastrous close, has proved him to be a 
skilful and gallant soldier ; and it is probable that if troops 
had not been withdrawn from his army to assist in the defence 
of Bulgaria, he might have finally repelled the Russian invasion. 
In the month of June the Russian army sustained a severe 
check at Delibaba, and it was soon afterwards defeated in an 
attempt to storm a strong Turkish position at Zewin. The 
Turks recaptured the town of Bayazid and invested the citadel, 
but the garrison was rescued by a gallant feat of arms of 
General Tergukassoff, and brought safely across the Russian 
frontier. In the middle of July the siege of Kars was raised, 
and almost the whole of Turkish Armenia was evacuated by 
the Russians. Ismail Pasha, with a force chiefly consisting of 
his Kurdish countrymen, occupied a position in Russian 
territory. At an earlier time attacks on the port of Batoum 
were, with the assistance of the fleet, easily repelled, and a 
force, partly consisting of Circassians, occupied Soukoum Kal^, 
with the object of exciting an insurrection in the Caucasus. 
The diversion probably caused some embarrassment to the 
Russian Generals, but few of the mountain tribes responded to 
the appeal ; and eventually the expedition was recalled, after 
a useless waste of resources which had been urgently needed in 
other quarters. 

During the early autumn the war in Asia languished, and 
it was thought by many that the campaign had virtually ended 
for the year ; but in the meantime the Russians were quietly 
and largely reinforced, while Mukhtar Pasha, lately rewarded 


with, the title of " Ghazi," had been deprived of some of his 
best regiments. His position between Kars and the Russian 
frontier, though strong both by nature and by the defences 
which had been added, was too extensive for the force at his 
disposal ; and military critics hold that he ought to have left 
Kars to its own resources while he kept his main army ready 
to threaten a besieging force in the rear. 

In the first half of October Mukhtar inflicted one serious 
defeat on the enemy, who afterwards harassed him with daily 
attacks, for the purpose, according to a competent observer, of 
killing as many of his men as possible. In their more serious 
and unsuccessful assault the Russians had for a time occupied 
a hill in the centre of the Turkish position, which they were 
unable to retain. They had accomplished a part of their 
purpose by acquiring accurate knowledge of the ground and 
of the force with which they had to deal. On the 15th of 
October General Lazareff turned the position by a flank march 
skilfully executed, and a direct attack made at the same time 
resulted in a great and decisive victory. The loss of the Turks 
in killed and wounded was enormous ; and many thousand 
men, with numerous officers and seven pashas, surrendered to 
the Russians. The Grand Duke and his lieutenants seem to 
have disposed with great judgment of their superior numbers, 
yet, according to some accounts, their success might have been 
doubtful but for a panic which seized on a body of Turkish 
troops who had been ordered up as a reserve. 

Mukhtar Pasha, after an obstinate defence, in which his 
personal gallantry was conspicuous, retreated to Erzeroum, 
where he was joined by Ismail Pasha. His chance of main- 
taining his new position depends on the severity of the climate, 
which renders military operations difficult during the winter ; 
but by the middle of December the regular siege of Erzeroum 
began. Kars, accounted the strongest fortress in the Turkish 
Empire, fell almost without resistance after the retreat of the 
army. There had been ample time to collect stores and pro- 
visions ; and a blockade, though it might have been ultimately 
successful, would have involved heavy sacrifices on the part of 
the besiegers. To the general surprise, and not without sus- 
picion of' treachery, the place was taken by assault, though 
the Russian force is said not to have outnumbered the garrison. 
The open town of Plevna held the Russians in check for five 


months ; while the great Asiatic fortress scarcely resisted 
during as many hours. 

The campaign in Europe had simultaneously been prose- 
cuted with many vicissitudes of fortune. On the 24th of June 
a Russian force crossed the Danube, without serious opposition, 
by two bridges of boats from Ibraila and Galatz. Three days 
afterwards the main army commenced its passage from Simnitza, 
and occupied Sistova, on the right bank of the river. The 
Turkish Commander-in-Chief scarcely attempted to impede 
movements which had been regarded as dijficult and dangerous 
experiments. The Turkish gunboats which ought to have 
commanded the navigation of the Danube were as inefficient 
as the land forces. Some of them were disabled by the fire of 
the batteries on the Roumanian shore ; and no attempt was 
made by the remainder to destroy the bridges during con- 
struction or after they had been completed. The English 
officer who nominally commands the Turkish fleet was long 
detained in Constantinople; and there is reason to believe 
that his movements have since been hampered by the jealousy 
of the Ministers. But the command of the sea has secured 
to the Turkish Government the great advantage of a safe and 
open communication by way of Varna, while the Russians 
have been restricted to the more tedious and costly conveyance 
of troops and stores by road or railway. 

The fleet has, in the absence of an enemy at sea, performed 
no brilliant exploit. Sebastopol and even Odessa were in- 
accessible ; and the Admiral properly declined to bombard 
undefended towns on the coast. For three weeks after the 
first passage of the Danube the invading army met with no 
serious resistance. On the advance of a small body of cavalry 
from Sistova, a garrison of Turkish infantry fled in disgraceful 
confusion from Tirnova, and a Civil Government composed 
chiefly of Bulgarians under a Russian commander was at once 
established in the provincial capital. An Imperial proclama- 
tion addressed in severe terms to the Mussulman population 
was understood to imply the definitive detachment of Bulgaria 
from the Turkish Empire. 

Immediately after the occupation of Tirnova, General 
Gourko with a flying column eff'ected the passage of the 
Balkans by a difficult mountain pass pointed out by a Bulgarian 
guide. Having descended into the plain, General Gourko, 


taking the Shipka Pass in reverse, compelled the Turkish 
troops which defended the road to fly in confusion. If Gourko 
had been strongly reinforced, it is possible that he might have 
maintained himself on the south of the mountains, and even 
have advanced to Adrianople; but, on the other hand, his 
expedition could only have been justified by the strange help- 
lessness of the hostile Generals ; and an advance on Adrianople 
in force while the Turkish armies on the Danube were still 
unbroken would have been a violation of all the rules of 

No long time elapsed before the Eussian Generals were 
reminded of the danger of despising an enemy. The easy suc- 
cesses of the early campaign ended with the capture of Nicopolis 
by General Kriidener on the first assault. The possession of 
the fortress was valuable, as it secured an additional passage 
over the Danube ; but, as the result showed, it would have 
been prudent first to occupy the town of Plevna and the neigh- 
bouring heights. 

While the garrison of Nicopolis was engaged in a feeble 
defence Osman Pasha, marching to the relief of the place, saw 
the importance of the position which the Eussians had over- 
looked, and, occupying Plevna, he at once began the con- 
struction of defences which afterwards grew to the dimensions 
of a great fortress. Soon after his earthworks were begun the 
Eussians, aware too late of the value of the position, were 
sharply checked in an attempt to take it by Osman Pasha. 
About the same time, under the pressure of popular indigna- 
tion, the Turkish Government dismissed Abdul Kerim and his 
treacherous or incapable patron, Eiza Pasha, Minister of War. 
Mehemet Ali, a renegade of North German birth, was appointed 
to command the Eastern army on the Danube, but Osman 
Pasha at Plevna, and Suleiman Pasha, who was now transferred 
from Montenegro to Eoumelia, were independent of any 
Commander-in-Chief. The division of authority, which was 
probably suggested by the jealousies of the Government at 
Constantinople, has produced its natural result in want of 
concert and in failure of reciprocal support; but since the 
dismissal of Abdul Kerim the conduct of the war has not 
displayed any want of vigour. The simple commissariat 
which suffices for Turkish armies has been well provided. 
There has been no deficiency in guns, small arms, or ammuni- 


tion ; the Turkish engineers have shown extraordinary skill in 
the construction of earthworks, and the soldiers retain all their 
traditional valour. 

In spite of the well-founded remonstrances of General 
Knidener the Grand Duke Michael and his staff positively 
ordered a renewal of the assault on Plevna, which had now 
been provided with strong fortifications. On the 30th of July 
an attack in force was repelled with heavy loss, and the severity 
of the blow was proved by the discontinuance of active opera- 
tions, and by orders for the organisation and despatch to the 
seat of war of large reinforcements. About the same time 
Suleiman Pasha, arriving by sea with an army largely reduced 
in numbers during his barren warfare in Montenegro, com- 
pelled General Gourko to retreat into the Shipka Pass, where 
both armies have, after long struggles, in which the Turks 
incurred useless sacrifices, maintained their positions. If 
Suleiman had not at the outset exhibited the usual negligence 
of Turkish Generals, he might have forced a feeble garrison 
to evacuate the pass. The arrival of reinforcements bafiied 
his later efforts ; but long afterwards he continued to waste 
the lives of his men in unsuccessful attacks. 

During the month of August the Russians employed them- 
selves in the construction of lines of contravallation in front of 
Plevna, while a separate army under the command of the 
Cesarewitch faced Mehemet Ali in a position beyond the river 
Lom. On the last day of the month the Russians were defeated 
in combat on the Upper Lom, and the Turks had the advan- 
tage in some later skirmishes ; but the Turkish General seems 
not to have been strong enough to risk a pitched battle with 
the Cesarewitch, and neither under Mehemet Ali nor under 
Suleiman, by whom he was afterwards replaced, has the army 
of the Lom been able to attempt the relief of Plevna, though 
a few days before the surrender of Osman Pasha Suleiman took 
Elena, on the road to Tirnova, after a brisk and successful 

Having received large reinforcements, and having not taken 
warning by repeated experience, the Russian staff determined 
once more to attack Plevna; and the 11th of September, the 
Emperor's birthday, was fixed as the date of their anticipated 
triumph. The Emperor had joined the headquarters before 
the passage of the Danube ; and he has since remained in the 


immediate neighbourhood of the army. A stage was now 
erected from which the Emperor might see the fall of the 
Turkish stronghold ; and on the appointed day repeated assaults 
were directed against the formidable defences. On the left of 
the attack General Skobeleff, a young and brilliant officer, took 
three redoubts with the sacrifice of a large part of the force 
under his command. On the right the large redoubt of 
Gravitza was taken late in the evening by surprise after the 
Emperor had left the field in the belief that the assault had 
failed. The redoubts occupied by Skobeleff were retaken on 
the following day. Gravitza remained in the possession of the 
Russians and Roumanians ; but the work was commanded by 
Turkish redoubts in the rear ; and the result of the great 
battle of the 11th was a conviction that direct assaults oil the 
fortified camp were wholly useless. 

In consequence of this defeat, the Imperial Guard were 
summoned to the seat of war, and General Todleben, who 
appears previously not to have enjoyed Court favour, was 
invited to undertake the reduction of Plevna. The famous 
engineer at once began regular approaches, as if for the purpose 
of besieging Osman Pasha in form ; but the object of his works 
was probably to divert the attention of the garrison while 
preparations were made for a complete investment. Before the 
last attack on Plevna the Russians had taken Lovatz in the 
south-east, and they only waited for their expected reinforce- 
ments to cut the Turkish communications. From time to 
time the Turkish army on the Lom made weak demonstrations 
against the Cesarewitch, while Suleiman still wasted his 
strength in the Shipka Pass. The only aid which Osman 
received was forwarded from Sofia by way of Orkhani^, 
in the form of convoys under the command of the notorious 
Shefket Pasha. The latest supplies reached Plevna early in 
November. Soon afterwards General Gourko with a large 
force of cavalry, supported by a body of the Guards, spread 
himself across the Sofia road. Dubnik and other Turkish forts 
were taken, in some cases with heavy loss to the Turks ; and 
at a later time the capture of Etropol threatened the communi- 
cation between Sofia and Orkhanie. Mehemet Ali, who had 
been some time before removed from the command of the army 
of the Lom, attempted to assemble a force at Sofia for the 
relief of Plevna ; but before the middle of November Osman 


Pasha was, like Bazaine at Metz, entirely shut in by the hostile 
force, with no chance of succour if the besieging army were 
able to maintain its position, and with little hope of escape. 

It is possible that Osman Pasha may have committed an 
error in postponing his retreat until it became impossible ; 
but his judgment in occupying Plevna, the skill of his 
engineers, and his obstinate resistance brought great glory to 
the Turkish arms. When his provisions were all but exhausted 
he still disdained a surrender which might have seemed in- 
evitable. On the 10th of December he crossed with his whole 
force to the left bank of the Vid ; and on the next morning at 
early dawn he precipitated himself on the enemy's works, in 
the hope of cutting his way to Widin. Demonstrations were 
simultaneously made at different parts of the line, and it is 
possible that a portion of his army might have escaped if a 
deserter had not during the night brought intelligence to the 
Russians that the works on the eastern front were abandoned. 
The positions beyond the Vid were immediately reinforced, 
and after a desperate struggle, in which heavy losses were 
incurred on both sides, the Turks were forced to desist from 
their enterprise. Osman Pasha, who had himself been wounded, 
then attempted to re-enter his fortifications, but he found them 
in possession of Russian and Roumanian troops, which had 
followed close in his rear. After a contest which worthily 
ended a heroic defence, Osman was at last compelled to sur- 
render at discretion. The guns and all the remaining stores 
necessarily fell into the hands of the victor; and 100,000 
men were released for the ulterior operations of the war. The 
Emperor of Russia, who had received his gallant prisoner with 
honourable and well-deserved courtesy, now thought himself at 
liberty to return to St. Petersburg, having probably arranged 
with his Generals the future operations of the campaign. 

During the great events of the campaign the obscure struggle 
in Montenegro and the adjacent Turkish Provinces has not ex- 
cited much attention. The insurgents in Bosnia and Herze- 
govina have made little effort, knowing, perhaps, that their fate 
will depend on the general result of the war rather than on 
their local exertions. The withdrawal of Suleiman Pasha and 
his army enabled the Prince of Montenegro to take Nicksich, 
and to occupy some neighbouring territory. The Mirdites have 
taken the opportunity of withdrawing from the Porte their 


doubtful allegiance, and some Albanian tribes have threatened 
disturbances. The Christian inhabitants of Crete have been 
preparing to take up arms, but probably their conduct will be 
regulated by the policy of Greece. Within three or four days 
after the fall of Plevna Servia declared war, and about the same 
time the Foreign Minister of the Porte attempted to open 
negotiations for peace by overtures addressed to the English 
and French ambassadors. 

In the midst of arms diplomacy is, like law, ordinarily sus- 
pended. No aid has been given to either belligerent in contra- 
vention of the rules of neutrality by any Power. It is under- 
stood that the German Emperor cordially sympathises with 
Russia, and the policy of his Government apparently agrees 
with his personal feelings. The Italian Government also is 
believed to incline to the cause of Russia, for reasons which are 
not fully understood. Austria has not been influenced in action 
by the jealousy which might have been provoked by the pros- 
pect of Russian victories in Turkey. The Court of Vienna and 
the military aristocracy are supposed to favour Russia. In 
Hungary the popular feeling of the Magyars is unanimously 
adverse to Russia ; but in both divisions of the Monarchy re- 
sponsible politicians of all parties approve the neutrality which 
the Government has maintained. The national divisions which 
exist in Austria and Hungary and the risk of a breach of 
friendly relations with Germany sufficiently account for the 
expectant policy which the Austro-Hungarian Chancellor, him- 
self a Magyar, has uniformly maintained. 

The Government of Athens, though it is believed to have 
felt little sympathy with the Slavonic movement, has prepared 
to assert its claims to a share in the spoil if the Turkish Empire 
is broken up by the war. Early in the year a Cabinet was 
formed by a coalition of all leaders of parties, under the Presi- 
dency of the celebrated Canaris, who formerly contributed by 
his naval exploits to the independence of Greece. His death a few 
months afterwards has had no effect in disturbing the concert of 
parties, which will probably last as long as the crisis in Turkey. 
The Greeks of Constantinople appear to deprecate Russian con- 
quest ; but if the Government of Athens determines on war, it 
will probably be seconded by insurrections in Thessaly, Epirus, 
and Crete. 

The neutrality adopted from the first by the English 


Government has been prospectively defined and limited by a 
despatch of Lord Derby's, nearly identical in terms with Mr. 
Cross's speech. Before the war began overtures are supposed 
to have been made by the German Government for an under- 
standing, which would have included the acquisition of Egypt 
by England. If the proposal was made, the English Govern- 
ment could not but decline a scheme which would have begun 
with a partition of the Turkish Empire. The Government of 
Marshal MacMahon, sufficiently occupied with domestic diffi- 
culties, has exhibited no active interest in the affairs of the 
East. The diplomatic complications which must precede and 
attend the conclusion of the war will be sufficiently embar- 
rassing. Negotiation has hitherto been premature, while it was 
still impossible to measure the forces which it is the main 
business of diplomacy to ascertain and recognise. 

The Continental States, with the exception of France, have 
furnished scanty materials for domestic history. In the German 
Empire there are indications of future political contests, when 
the long ascendency of Prince Bismarck is hereafter removed. 
In the election of the German Parliament at -the beginning of 
the year the Socialists won several seats from the Progressist or 
Advanced Liberal Party. The Ultramontanes, who are not less 
hostile to the present Government, also increased their numbers. 
The National Liberals, who have since 1866 been Prince 
Bismarck's steadiest supporters, have lately displayed symptoms 
of dissatisfaction with the slow progress of national measures of 
reform. Soon after the opening of the session Prince Bismarck 
tendered his resignation on the conventional pretext of his 
health, and accepted a prolonged leave of absence, which has 
not interfered with his continued direction of the policy of the 
Government. His colleague. Count Eulenberg, having, without 
the authority of the Prime Minister, proposed in the Prussian 
Parliament a Municipal Bill to satisfy the discontented Liberals, 
was required to take leave of absence as the alternative of resig- 
nation. The continued stagnation of trade has furnished 
German producers with a welcome excuse for demanding higher 
duties on foreign imports, to be imposed by the Commercial 
Treaties which are now under discussion. Their reactionary 
proposals are to a certain extent countenanced by Prince Bis- 
marck, with the result of having prevented or delayed the 
adoption of a Commercial Treaty with Austria, 


The recent Ministerial crisis in Italy had been for some time 
anticipated in consequence of the declining popularity of Signer 
Nicotera and his colleagues. A certain amount of local excite- 
ment has been produced by the success of several noble and 
princely candidates in the Municipal Elections for Rome. It 
has given rise to a hope that, in the process of contending for 
ecclesiastical privileges, the heads of the great families may 
gradually accustom themselves to the new political system 
which they are supposed to recognise by their nomination. It 
is undoubtedly a misfortune that in Italy, as in other Demo- 
cratic countries, rank and property operate as disqualifications 
for public employment. The prospect of an early Papal election 
naturally causes greater curiosity and interest in Italy than in 
countries less immediately concerned with the claims of the 
Vatican. Some uneasiness was felt when the French clergy, 
in obedience to instructions from Rome, supported a Govern- 
ment which was erroneously supposed to meditate a possible 
restoration of the Temporal Power ; and the election of a 
prudent and moderate Pope would abate political irritation and 
social discord. The end of the present Pontificate is believed 
to be rapidly approaching. Pope Pius's successor may, perhaps, 
avoid the errors of judgment which Pope Pius has committed ; 
but he will not inherit the compassionate respect which attends 
the misfortunes and the venerable age of the last Pope who will 
have been also a King. A newly-elected Pope can scarcely 
affect the character of a prisoner in the Vatican. 

Perfect tranquillity has afforded the Spanish Government 
leisure to engage in measures for impeding commercial inter- 
course with England. Differential duties have been imposed on 
English imports as compared with those of Belgium, of Germany, 
and of some other countries ; and it appears that, although 
trade is exposed to no corresponding disability in England, 
Spanish doubts have arisen whether existing treaties provide for 
the admission of English produce on the terms allowed to the 
most favoured nation. The object of the Spanish Government 
is to compel the abolition of Mr. Gladstone's alcoholic test, 
which imposes a heavier duty on the strong wines of Spain than 
on the light wines of France. The merits of the question have 
long been the subject of controversy ; but it is evident that 
the test imposes no differential duty on articles of the same 


A political contest in France has raised issues which in 
former times would have been decided by a revolution ; but 
the majority of the constituencies and the Chamber remained 
serenely confident of ultimate success by peaceful methods, and 
the Government which rashly provoked the struggle has shrunk 
from lawless violence. M. Jules Simon, who succeeded M. 
Dufaure as President of the Council soon after the opening of 
the Legislature elected under the Constitution, received a 
qualified support from the Republican Party, though M. 
Gambetta, and not the Minister, was regarded as the real leader 
of the Majority. On the important question whether the 
Senate could revise the Estimates, M. Simon, with the aid of 
the Conservatives, defeated his rivah The analogy of English 
practice carried little weight with a Chamber which was in no 
way bound by foreign precedents. The Senate under the Con- 
stitution seems as far to transcend the House of Lords in legal 
attributes as it falls below it in social and political weight. 
The Republicans had by a temporary coalition with the 
Legitimists and Bonapartists excluded from the Senate the 
bulk of the Moderate or Constitutional party, but a small 
Conservative majority gradually increased its strength by 
filling up casual vacancies, and the Senate gradually at- 
tracted the confidence of those who distrusted the Republican 

Marshal MacMahon appears to have been irritated by the 
influence which M. Gambetta exercised over the policy of the 
Ministers ; but the Government had neither made any material 
concession to the Republicans nor had it incurred a Parlia- 
mentary defeat. All parties, except a few reactionary politicians 
who may have been privy to the secret, were astonished when, 
on the 16th of May, the President of the Republic addressed to 
M. Jules Simon a peremptory letter of reproof, which at once 
enforced his resignation. The advisers of a wanton and danger- 
ous measure have not been disclosed. The Due de Broglie, 
though he became responsible for the dismissal of his prede- 
cessors by accepting the Presidency of the Council, is believed 
not to have shared in the previous deliberations. M. de Fourtou, 
a well-known administrative officer under the Empire, became 
Minister of the Interior ; the Due Decazes remained at the 
Foreign Oflfice, and General Berthaut retained his post as 
Minister of War. The Chamber was immediately prorogued, 


and the Senate, by a small majority, resolved to exercise a 
power conferred by the Constitution by concurring with the 
President of the Republic in a dissolution. 

Marshal MacMahon probably believed a statement, which 
formed the substance of a proclamation, that the voters had 
been misled by the use of his name at the elections, and that a 
majority in the new Chamber would answer favourably his 
appeal to the country. His new Ministers, whether or not they 
shared the Marshal's opinions, were resolved to leave nothing to 
chance. M. de Fourtou had probably been selected on account 
of his familiarity with the conduct of elections in the days of 
Napoleon III., and he improved on the precedents of official 
interference. Many of the prefects and subordinate officers 
were replaced by zealous partisans ; and the agents of the 
Government were instructed to use every effort to obtain a 

The bishops and clergy, in their zeal against the Republic, 
scarcely needed the directions which were issued in the name 
of the Pope to use all their influence in support of the Govern- 
ment candidates ; but their authority in the rural districts is 
greatly impaired, and in the towns they increase the unpopu- 
larity of the cause which they support. The Orleanists have 
no considerable following in the constituencies, although they 
still form a powerful party among the upper and middle classes. 
The Legitimists have a hold only on isolated districts, and the 
Bonapartists, who are more formidable enemies of the Republic, 
were induced with difficulty to maintain a hesitating alliance 
with the other sections of the Conservative party. 

Before the elections Marshal MacMahon undertook a journey 
through several Departments ; but, although he was generally 
received with courtesy, his presence excited no enthusiasm, and 
more than one Municipal Council refused to vote funds for his 
ceremonial reception. In every arrondissement where there 
was a chance of success official candidates were presented to the 
electors, and the whole force of the administrative machinery 
was exerted to defeat opposition. The usual methods of intimi- 
dating and thwarting hostile electors were everywhere practised. 
Impediments were offered to the circulation of Liberal or Re- 
publican journals, frivolous charges were preferred against ob- 
noxious politicians, and the Government committed the strange 
blunder of prosecuting M. Gambetta for a speech in which he 


had declared that on the meeting of the Chamber the Marshal 
must either submit or resign. 

The result of the elections was a gain to the Government of 
50 votes; but the reduction of the former majority from 170 
to 120 left the Republicans and their leaders in full control of 
the Chamber. Marshal MacMahon and M. de Fourtou had 
overlooked an essential distinction between the present state of 
things and the system which prevailed under the Empire. In 
former times a prefect who satisfied his superiors was certain to 
retain his office, with the power of annoying electors who might 
have resisted his dictation. M. de Fourtou's prefects could 
only hold office while the Conservatives were in power, and 
their Republican successors will reverse their measures. The 
active intervention of the Executive Government in elections 
accords with the tradition of all parties in France, though it 
shocks insular susceptibilities ; but M. de Fourtou had exceeded 
the licence of almost all his predecessors, and, above all, he 
failed. A Ministerial majority would have condoned the ex- 
cesses of zealous agents ; the Republicans have now the oppor- 
tunity of invalidating the elections of their adversaries. 

On the meeting of the Chamber M. Gambetta and his party 
maintained a prudent reserve, while the Ministers first tried 
their strength in the Senate. In that body the balance of 
power is held by the few Constitutional politicians, or former 
Orleanists, whom the Republicans of the National Assembly 
had failed to exclude. The Due d'Audiffret-Pasquier, President 
of the Senate, who may be regarded as the leader of the party 
in that House, rejected more than one motion which was sug- 
gested by the Ministers ; but at last the Due de Broglie suc- 
ceeded in persuading the Senate to adopt a colourless Order of 
the Day, which purported to affirm the Constitutional equality 
of the Senate with the Chamber. Immediately afterwards the 
Ministers resigned, and the Marshal appointed a so-called 
Cabinet of Business, of which not a single member had a seat 
in either branch of the Legislature. Neither the letter of the 
Constitution nor the practice of French administration requires 
that every Minister should be either a Senator or a Representa- 
tive, but the spirit of Parliamentary government implies that a 
Cabinet should include some of the leaders of one or other 
party ; and it is obviously impossible to distinguish between 
ordinary business and politics. The Chamber so far departed 


from its attitude of reserve as to declare by a formal vote that 
it would hold no intercourse with the Cabinet, 

From the first issue of the Marshal's imprudent challenge 
the discipline and the prudence of the Republicans have been 
perfect. The cause of the party was nowhere endangered by a 
double canvass, and the members of the majority in the dis- 
solved Chamber were by general consent supported with the 
whole strength of the Left. Moderate politicians who would 
have preferred Constitutional monarchy were not found to 
waver in their support of the Republic ; and the extreme 
section of the party suspended their avowal of alarming doctrines. 
The Marshal and his advisers had, in fact, adopted the only 
course which could have produced unanimity among the Re- 
publicans. Hopes of an amicable adjustment were encouraged 
by interviews between the Marshal and the Presidents of the 
Senate and the Chamber. M. Gr^vy was understood to have 
urged in friendly language the necessity of accepting the 
decision of the constituencies ; and still greater weight might 
have been expected to attach to similar language when it was 
used by the representative of the Constitutional party in the 

The only satisfactory assurance which could be extracted 
from the President of the Republic was a declaration that he 
had never meditated any act of violence against the Chamber- 
Some days afterwards he alleged, in an official memorandum, 
that the Republican party had required, as a condition of 
granting the supplies, a modification of the Constitution, by 
which the consent of two-thirds of the Senate should be required 
for the dissolution of the Chamber. The statement, which 
must have been founded on some misunderstanding, was strongly 
resented by the Left, and the Committee on the Budget formally 
declined to present a report until a Parliamentary Ministry was 
formed. The proceeding would have been irregular according 
to English Parliamentary rules, but the moderation and 
prudence of the Republican leaders afi'ord a guarantee against 
errors of form, which they are not tempted to commit when 
both right and strength are on their side. 

When it was almost too late the Marshal at last invited M. 
Dufaure to form a Government. It is strange that his advisers 
should not have made an earlier attempt to conciliate the 
moderate Republicans. A preliminary negotiation broke off in 


consequence of restrictions imposed by tlie Marshal on M. 
Diifaure's free selection of the members of the proposed Cabinet ; 
but Oft last all difficulties were overcome by the unconditional 
surrender of the Marshal. A new Ministry was formed under 
the presidency of M. Dufaure, with M. L4on Say as Minister of 
Finance, and the Protestant M. Waddington at the Foreign 
Office. The Chamber at once voted the supplies, which had 
been provisionally withheld, and all sections of the Republican 
party acquiesce in the choice of a Government which is at the 
same time moderate and sincerely attached to the Constitution. 

The Republicans can afford to dispense with the advantage 
which they formerly derived from the fame and popularity of 
their most eminent leader. Threats of the resignation of the 
President of the Republic had no tendency to produce alarm as 
long as M. Thiers was regarded as his inevitable successor. 
His force of intellect and character seemed to be unaffected by 
age, nor was there reason to suppose that he had renounced 
ambitious hopes. His death, at the age of eighty, not preceded 
by illness or decay, caused the same sense of an unexpected 
void which ordinarily attends the interruption of a political 
career in the prime of life. The event, though it was natural 
and probable, had the effect of a surprise in disturbing the 
calculations of friends and opponents. 

After the death of M. Guizot, who was a few years older, 
and who had retired long since from political life, M. Thiers was 
by far the most conspicuous of living Frenchmen. At an early 
age he had laid the foundations of his literary success ; he took 
an active part in the Revolution of 1830 ; and soon afterwards 
he obtained the highest official rank. After the overthrow of 
Constitutional monarchy he became the chief leader of the 
Conservative party in the National Assembly, and he was at 
one time the confidential adviser of the President. He was, 
according to his own account, the chief author of the restoration 
by French arms of the Pope's Temporal Power, preferring, as 
he said, the triumph of French influence to a hundred Consti- 
tutions and a hundred religions. When Louis Napoleon seized 
supreme power, he paid M. Thiers the compliment of arresting 
him as a possibly dangerous adversary, and the act of violence 
was not regarded as an affront, though M. Thiers refused to 
serve a Government which was virtually absolute. While 
the Empire flourished M. Thiers employed his involuntary 


leisure in the continuation of the brilliant history which had 
already, more than any other cause, rendered the name and 
policy of Napoleon objects of fanatical admiration in France. 
When, after a long interval, the Emperor began to relax his 
hold on the reigns of government, M. Thiers conducted alipost 
alone a Parliamentary Opposition which gradually shook the 
fabric of the Empire. His denunciation of the policy which 
had permitted Italy and Germany to attain union and strength 
impaired the popularity of Napoleon III. and influenced his 
judgment. The fatal determination which led to the disaster 
of Sedan was probably in some degree caused by a desire to 
repel the taunts of the most formidable of critics ; but M. 
Thiers openly disapproved the war not because it was unjust, 
but because he knew that the army was inadequate to its task. 
In the misfortunes which followed, M. Thiers, after declining 
a place in the Government of Defence, earned the gratitude of 
his countrymen by a journey undertaken for the purpose of 
soliciting aid from all the Governments of Europe in succession. 

When Paris fell and further resistance had become hopeless, 
M. Thiers was designated by the choice of forty or fifty con- 
stituencies, and by the unanimous opinion of France, as the 
Chief of the Government and the manager of the negotiations 
with the conqueror. Although he was through life obstinately 
ignorant of economic principles, the confidence which he in- 
spired enabled his Government to borrow the vast sums which 
were to be paid as compensation to Germany ; and the evacua- 
tion of the territory was accomplished before the date which 
had been previously fixed. His authority for a time overruled 
the desire of the National Assembly for a Government which 
should show a stronger inclination to restore the Monarchy ; 
but in 1873, when the great task of liberating the territory had 
been achieved, the resignation which he had often tendered as a 
menace was at last accepted. 

During the remaining years of his life he occupied a private 
station, for his age and dignity would scarcely have allowed 
him to intervene frequently in debate. He had never been so 
popular as in the latest stage of his long career. With all his 
defects, and notwithstanding his many prejudices, he was 
through life consistently devoted to the interests of France, and 
his deliberate adherence to the Republic at last conciliated the 
classes which he had often thwarted and offended. His rigorous 


suppression of the rebellion of the Commune was pardoned 
bj the Paris artisans when they found that he was the most 
powerful opponent of a Bourbon or Bonapartist restoration. 
His memory stands apart in the obituary of the year, which 
includes no other name of the first or second political rank. 
M. Lanfrey, whom M. Thiers had generously employed in a 
high diplomatic post though he had won his reputation by 
exposing the errors of The History of the Consulate and the 
Empirey was eminent only as a man of letters. M. Leverrier 
was regarded as one of the first among European astronomers. 
General Changarnier distinguished himself in the African cam- 
paign of thirty years ago ; after the Ee volution of 1848 he 
failed to protect the Assembly against the designs of the Presi- 
dent ; in his old age he earned public gratitude by joining the 
army at Metz when the fortunes of his country were already 

The most important event of the year in the United States 
was the settlement by an elaborate contrivance of the disputed 
Presidential election. The Democratic candidates, Mr. Tilden 
and Mr. Hendricks, had obtained a large majority of the whole 
number of votes, but the number of Presidential electors repre- 
senting the several States was almost equally balanced, and the 
result depended on the admission or rejection of the votes of 
Louisiana and South Carolina. In both States partisan return- 
ing Boards, appointed by Republican Legislatures, were accused 
of falsifying the returns, and the Democrats demanded an in- 
vestigation, while the Republicans contended that by the Con- 
stitution the certificate of the Governor of a State was final and 
conclusive. It was difficult to anticipate any mode of peaceful 
settlement ; but the common sense and political aptitude of the 
American people justified the general confidence that by some 
means an escape would be devised from an apparently hopeless 

After much deliberation the Senate and the House of Re- 
presentatives agreed on the appointment of a Commission which 
should propose to Congress a solution of the difficulty. The 
body was composed of five members of either branch of the 
Legislature and of five judges of the Supreme Court. The 
arrangement was supposed to be favourable to the Democrats, 
but their hopes were at the last moment disappointed by the 
removal of a Democratic judge and by the appointment of a 


Kepublican successor. Although the functions of the Commis- 
sion were ostensibly judicial, senators, representatives, and 
judges voted on every question in strict accordance with party 
interests. A majority of one determined that Congress could 
not inquire into the credentials of a Presidential Elector, and 
Congress wisely accepted a recommendation which was, perhaps, 
consistent with the letter of the Constitution, and which at 
least settled the disputed election. Accordingly, Mr. Hayes 
and Mr. Wheeler, the Republican candidates, were declared to 
be elected by 184 Presidential votes to 183. 

On his assumption of office at the beginning of March Mr. 
Hayes at once proceeded to execute the measures of conciliation 
which he had previously announced. The Federal troops were 
withdrawn from New Orleans, and General Wade Hampton, 
the Democratic candidate, was recognised as Governor of South 
Carolina. The President was welcomed with enthusiasm on a visit 
to two or three of the Southern States ; and his adherents allege 
that the whole of the former Confederation is now for the first 
time heartily reconciled to the Union. The White population 
has now resumed its supremacy in all parts of the South. Dis- 
contented Republicans complain, as might be expected, that the 
interests of the coloured people have been sacrificed. A 
division in the ranks of the party arises, perhaps, in greater 
measure from a division of opinion on the proposed reform of 
the Civil Service. In a circular issued soon after his accession, 
the President prohibited paid Federal officers from taking part 
in elections, except by recording their votes. As the whole 
system of party organisation depends mainly on the personal 
and pecuniary efforts of actual or expectant officeholders, many 
leading Republicans naturally disapproved the attempt to sub- 
stitute a neutral and permanent body of Civil servants for 
official managers of elections. Mr. Conkling, Senator for New 
York, induced a Convention of his State to censure the policy 
of the President ; a late election in Ohio, to which State both 
the President and the Secretary of the Treasury belong, has 
been carried by the Democrats ; and the President's nominations 
to certain offices in the New York Custom House have been re- 
jected by the Senate. 

The balance of parties is further deranged by the organisa- 
tion of a so-called Party of Labour, which resembles a trades' 
union on a gigantic scale. The labour agitation had in the 


course of the summer produced alarming results. The men 
employed on the railways in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
and some neighbouring States suddenly interrupted the traffic, 
and gave an opportunity to the rabble of Baltimore, of Pitts- 
burg, and of other towns to destroy a large quantity of rolling 
stock and of other property. The State and Federal authorities 
displayed commendable vigour, but in some places the Militia, 
either through cowardice or in sympathy with the rioters, re- 
fused to perform its duty. All the Federal troops within reach 
were at once employed against the insurgents, and in the course 
of a few weeks the disturbances were suppressed. The wild 
demands of the rioters have since been repeated by demagogues 
for election purposes, and the new party hopes to apply the 
powers conferred by universal suffrage for the benefit of labour 
at the expense of capital. Experience has hitherto shown that 
in the United States combinations outside of the two great 
parties are destined only to an ephemeral existence. 

The commercial prospects of America seem to be improving, and 
perhaps the balance of public opinion is in favour of maintaining 
the law which provides for the resumption of -specie payments at 
the beginning of 1879 ; but the question is complicated by a 
movement for the admission of silver coin as a legal tender in 
the interest of the mine-owners of Nevada, and for the purpose 
of paying the National Debt in a depreciated currency. The 
House of Representatives, in which the Democrats have a 
majority, has voted for the repeal of the Resumption Act and 
for the remonetisation of silver ; but the Senate has not yet 
given a decision, and the President has expressed the intention 
of interposing his veto on measures for postponing resumption 
or tampering, by the establishment of a double standard of 
value, with the national credit. The Mixed Commission on the 
Fisheries, constituted under the Treaty of Washington, has lately 
published an award, by which compensation of a million 
sterling is given to Canada, which had claimed a much larger 
amount. The American Commissioner has, unfortunately, re- 
fused to concur in the award ; and it is found that, by a culpable 
oversight, the negotiations of the Treaty had not provided, as 
in the Alabama case, that the decision of the majority should 
be binding. It is not yet known whether the American 
Government will raise a technical objection to the award. 

Except during the railway strike, the general tranquillity 


has only been locally and superficially ruffled by petty conflicts 
with discontented Indian tribes, and by the depredations of 
Mexican marauders on the frontier of Texas. Another revolu- 
tion in Mexico has resulted in the establishment of one Diaz as 
President, and probably his title will be recognised by the 
Government of the United States if he can furnish securities 
against the renewal of outrages on the Rio Granda Since the 
abolition of slavery the American desire of territorial aggran- 
disement has subsided ; nor is any political party desirous of 
admitting half-civilised aliens from Mexico or Cuba to a share 
in the national sovereignty. 

Englishmen are, perhaps, still more peaceably disposed than 
Americans ; but in the wide extent of the Indian and Colonial 
Empire it is impossible to avoid occasional collisions with 
bordering tribes. In South Africa it has also been found 
necessary to interfere with a neighbouring community of 
European blood. The independence of the Republic of Trans- 
vaal, founded a quarter of a century ago by Dutch emigrants 
from the colony, had been recognised and afterwards respected 
by the English Government ; but collisions between the people 
of the Transvaal and the Caffres always involved a danger of a 
general native war, and in the course of last year the levies of 
the Republic had been defeated in a contest with a neighbouring 

It appeared from the official statements of Mr. Burgers, 
President of the Republic, that the Government was unable 
either to provide for the defence of the territory or to maintain 
internal order. Sir Theophilus Shepstone, an officer of great 
experience in dealing both with native tribes and with colonists 
in South Africa, was despatched by Lord Carnarvon to the 
Transvaal with a large discretionary power, extending in certain 
specified contingencies to the assumption of the government. 
The Commissioner, arriving at the seat of government in ad- 
vance of a small body of troops which had been placed at his 
disposal, found the state of affairs so alarming that he at once 
determined on adding the Transvaal to the dominions of the 
Crown, and his decision was afterwards approved by the Colonial 
Office. The Dutch inhabitants of the territory seem not to have 
been dissatisfied with the measure, which was naturally ac- 
ceptable to the English residents. The powerful King of the 
Zulus, who had threatened an invasion of the Transvaal, has 


thought it prudent to avoid a collision with the Imperial and 
Colonial Governments, and on the whole the annexation seems 
to have produced advantageous results. In a distant part of 
South Africa petty hostilities, provoked by Kreli, Chief of the 
Galekas, or his advisers, have ended in his defeat, and in his 
deposition by Sir Bartle Frere, now Governor of the Cape. The 
project of federation has not yet been carried into effect, but 
Lord Carnarvon's policy is believed to increase in popularity, 
and the acquisition of the Transvaal will, perhaps, diminish the 
impediments to union. So far, however, as Africa is concerned, 
the arrival of Mr. H. M. Stanley at the Cape, after his mar- 
vellous journey across the Continent, has dwarfed the interest 
felt either in a Galeka outbreak or in a South African Con- 

In India there has been a petty border war with the Jowakis, 
a predatory mountain tribe on the North- West frontier. In the 
early part of the year, on the invitation of the Khan of Khelat, 
an English officer with a considerable escort was sent to reside 
at Quettah, and perhaps the measure may have caused irritation 
and alarm among the neighbouring tribes. At the date of the 
latest accounts the operations of the English forces had been 
successful, but the objects of the expedition had not been fully 

The gorgeous ceremony attending the proclamation at Delhi 
of the Queen's assumption of the title of Empress of India pro- 
duced no political effect. Indian statesmen were even at the 
time preoccupied by the anticipation of the famine which has 
since extended with frightful severity over a great part of the 
Presidencies of Bombay and Madras, and over some of the ad- 
jacent native States. The efforts of the Supreme and Local 
Governments to relieve the wants of the people have been un- 
ceasing ; but the deaths from the direct or indirect consequences 
of want of food are estimated at hundreds of thousands ; and 
the health of many of the survivors must have been permanently 
affected. A subscription in England for the relief of Indian 
distress amounted to nearly half a million, and the liberality of 
the contributors was not exhausted when the Indian authorities 
announced that the necessity for aid no longer existed. Copious 
autumn rains removed all apprehension of a second season of 
famine ; and the pressure on the resources of the Government 
rapidly diminishes. 


Two celebrated Eastern potentates have died within the 
year. Jung Bahadoor, nominally Minister and really Sovereign 
of Nepaul, had long since attained his position by unscrupulous 
vigour in removing rivals from his path. While he excluded 
Europeans from his country, he pursued a friendly policy to the 
English Government, and during the Mutiny he rendered useful 
service. At the time of his death he was preparing for a second 
visit to England. Little is known of the character of his 
brother, who has succeeded to his power. 

The death of Yakoob Beg of Kashgar may probably be 
followed by dynastic and territorial changes in the remote 
East. Like many Eastern potentates, Yakoob had been a soldier 
of fortune before he superseded the chief whom he had served. 
Alone among the Mahomedan rulers of provinces formerly be- 
longing to China, Yakoob Beg, otherwise known as the Atalik 
Ghazi, had maintained an independence which was threatened 
both from the east and the west He had during his reign 
avoided collision with his Russian neighbours in Central Asia ; 
but it is doubtful whether he would have been able permanently 
to resist the steady progress of great Chinese armies, which will 
probably restore the former frontiers of the Empire. The in- 
heritance of Yakoob Beg has already caused broils and revolu- 
tions among the claimants of the succession, and the kingdom 
which he formed is not likely to endure. 

No events of especial interest have occurred at home since 
the close of the session, though Lord Hartington, Mr. Bright, 
and Mr. Chamberlain have exerted themselves to promote the 
organisation of the Liberal party. Public speakers, though 
they may have deliberately preferred domestic topics, still veer 
round by a necessary attraction to the subject which still en- 
grosses universal attention. Although discussion can exercise 
no influence on the fortunes of war, it is found impossible to 
discuss anything else. The one domestic event of importance 
is the promise, supposed to be contained in the recent announce- 
ment of the meeting of Parliament on the 17th of January, 
that this discussion will be continued. 


The year which expired on Tuesday has been remarkable for a 
strain of prolonged anxiety, from which the national mind has 
not yet been altogether relieved. Though the public apprehen- 
sions have not been realised, it appeared more than once well- 
nigh impossible to escape either a general war in Europe or a 
commercial crisis at home. Peace, however, has been maintained 
among the Great Powers. No panic, like that of "Black 
Friday," has given a shock to the fabric of English business. 
Nevertheless, we have gone so close to the edge of danger in 
both directions that, as we look back on the events of the past 
twelve months, we feel, in spite of some present difl&culties, that 
we have much reason for thankfulness and for confidence. 
Party spirit has not been inactive, but the rivalry between the 
Ministry and the Opposition has been controlled by the over- 
mastering interest of the country in foreign affairs. Legislation 
has been stunted by the shadows of war and diplomacy. The 
expiring pangs of the Ottoman resistance were eagerly watched ; 
the rising pretensions of Kussia revealed in the Treaty of San 
Stefano were indignantly repelled ; the vicissitudes of negotia- 
tion were vigilantly followed, with a full knowledge of the fact 
that failure to secure by peaceful means the interests and honour 
of England would force us into an arduous contest. 

The Government had no cause to complain that the national 
temper did not give them steady support. The position taken 
up by England produced a visible change in the opinion of other 
States. The elements of a permanent understanding were 
slowly compacted together, and the Treaty of Berlin solemnly 
confirmed a new European concert, in which England had a 
chief share. The patience and public spirit of the country were 



still further tried by tlie difficulties wliicli have impeded the 
execution of the treaty, and scarcely had these begun to clear 
away when troubles gathered ominously on our Indian frontiers. 
The Afghan Expedition has been approved by Parliament and 
the country for the same reasons as those which prevailed during 
the European crisis. The Government has received this support 
in spite of many untoward influences. 

The depression of trade which has been deplored for the past 
four years has not been removed ; it has sunk, indeed, to a 
lower level than before. Fortunately, a good harvest and plen- 
tiful supplies from all foreign countries have kept down the 
price of bread, and bad trade has so far profited the consumer 
that all the necessaries of life have been cheaper than they were 
in prosperous times. If it were not for this mitigation the effect 
of repeated reductions in the rate of wages, ineffectually opposed 
by strikes, of withdrawals of capital, of bankruptcies and liqui- 
dations, of banking disasters, of alarms in the Money-market, of 
Ministerial embarrassments in finance, and of augmented taxa- 
tion, actual or prospective, would have been far more severely 
felt. As it was, in spite of some distress and consequent dis- 
content throughout the country, the Poor Law returns showed 
no extraordinary increase of pauperism until the last few weeks 
of the yeaE) when the hard weather and the want of employment 
combined to cause widespread suffering. 

In the early part of 1878, as in 1877, there was a difficulty 
in finding remunerative employment for capital ; the bank rate 
of discount was lowered in January from 4 to 3, and afterwards 
to 2 per cent, and did not again touch 4 per cent until August, 
when a drain of bullion was feared. Still later the Glasgow 
Bank failure compelled another precautionary rise, but within 
the past month, notwithstanding prevalent uneasiness, it has 
been thought safe to maintain the bank rate at 5 per cent. 
The fluctuations in the ordinary commercial terms for the use 
of money were much wider. 

The conflicts between labour and capital begun last year were 
prolonged and embittered. The London masons' strike was not 
ended until the middle of March, and a few weeks later came 
the great " turn-out " of the cotton operatives in Blackburn and 
other North Lancashire towns, as well as riots in the Scotch 
mining districts. The disturbances at Blackburn which followed 
the refusal of the Masters' Association to submit the proposed 


reduction of wages to tlie judgment of Lord Derby and two 
other arbitrators culminated in tlie sacking and burning of 
Colonel Kaynsford Jackson's house. For a week or so the 
gravest anxiety prevailed, but the excitement soon abated, and 
after ineffectual negotiations the men succumbed. In the autumn 
another strike at Oldham originated in another reduction of 
wages. But in general the workmen have learned to submit 
without violent resistance, and to recognise the fact that capital- 
ists find it difficult to maintain their enterprises at all. The 
depression of trade, the lack of employment, and the generally 
unprosperous state of the community have been demonstrated 
by the falling off in the revenue and by the failures of large 
financial concerns. The fall of prices in the autumn and the 
accumulation of cash reserves to meet a possible panic raised 
the demand for money and lowered the value of all public 

The Government funds, however, have been maintained at a 
much higher average than in 1872-73. Sir Stafford Northcote 
calculated in April that the increased income-tax and tobacco 
duty would give him the means of meeting a fair proportion of 
the deficiency on the ordinary revenue, the Exchequer Bonds 
issued for the vote of credit in the spring, and the supplementary 
estimates, which he computed at a million. But the supple- 
mentary estimates mounted up to three millions and three- 
quarters, including an estimate of .£400,000 for the South 
African War expenses, which will hardly suffice to cover the cost 
of the operations in Natal as well as those in Caffraria. The 
sum of a million and a half which the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer proposed to carry over to next year is thus increased to 
not less than two millions and three-quarters, even if the receipts 
of revenue should come up to his anticipations. Unfortunately, 
the returns for the first half-year proved that the Customs, 
Excise, and Stamps, taken together, instead of showing the 
increase of £260,000 on which Sir S. Northcote had reckoned, 
had declined by £320,000. It seems scarcely possible to retrieve 
this loss during the winter months and in the present state of 
trade. There is, happily, reason to believe that the danger of 
panic, which appeared inevitable when the failure of the City 
of Glasgow Bank and of the firms dependent upon it was fol- 
lowed by similar though less widespread ruin in the west of 
England and in Rochdale, has now passed away. Caution has 


prepared for the worst, and confidence, it may be hoped, is 
gradually reviving. Still, so doubtful is the prospect that our 
hopes must be rather negative than positive. 

While such has been our social and economical condition at 
home, no great legislative changes were possible, even if foreign 
policy had not overshadowed all other interests. The session, 
though it began a fortnight earlier and ended a few days later 
than usual, was singularly barren of important measures. The 
Factories and Workshops Act, the Cattle Diseases Act, the High- 
ways Act, the Bishoprics Act, were placed upon the Statute 
Book. The Irish members were pacified with the Intermediate 
Education Act, and the Scotch with the Koads and Bridges Act. 

But the energies of Parliament were directed almost ex- 
clusively to the important questions arising out of our foreign 
relations and to the party conflicts which turned upon them. 
At the beginning of the year it became evident that the Turkish 
resistance was failing. The Russians were advancing under 
General Gourko, commanding the Imperial Guard, upon Sofia, 
and were also pressing upon the Turkish army in the Central 
Balkans. On the 3rd of January Sofia surrendered. In the 
following week General Mirsky and General Skobeleff penetrated 
the Balkans by the Trojan Pass, and occupied Kezanlik. General 
Radetzky held a strong position to the north of the mountains, 
and the Turks, finding themselves shut up in the Shipka Pass 
between Radetzky's troops and those of Mirsky and Skobeleft", 
after a fruitless struggle laid down their arms. These victories 
were achieved in the midst of a severe winter ; they redeemed 
the somewhat tarnished credit of Russian generalship, and 
testified once more to the stubborn valour of the Russian 
soldiery. The Turks, too, fought well, but the shadow of 
defeat hung over them. The Government at Constantinople 
sent proposals for an armistice to the headquarters of the Grand 
Duke Nicholas, which were received with grim and mysterious 
silence. In the meantime the Russian armies were steadily 
advancing on Philippopolis and Adrian ople. 

Such was the situation when Parliament met on the 17th of 
January. The assembling of the Houses at a date so unusually 
early had given rise to many disquieting rumours. The Speech 
from the Throne contained a significant statement " that should 
hostilities unfortunately be prolonged, some unexpected occur- 
rence may render it incumbent on Her Majesty to adopt measures 


of precaution." While Parliament was still debating these 
vague generalities, rumours were growing that the Eussian terms, 
still kept profoundly secret, were dangerously exorbitant, that the 
Eussian troops were threatening not only the positions around 
Constantinople, but Gallipoli and the freedom of the Straits, that 
wild disorder and hopeless anarchy were impending in the Sultan's 
capital, that a flight to Broussa was deliberately contemplated 
by Abdul Hamid and his Ministers, that the British fleet had 
been ordered to the Dardanelles. How far these alarming reports 
were false or true no one could tell, but that the crisis was a 
grave one was made evident by the retirement of two Cabinet 
Ministers, Lord Carnarvon and Lord Derby. The latter, how- 
ever, as it appeared afterwards, withdrew his resignation. 

Public suspense was to some extent relieved when the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer on the 28th of January moved in the 
House of Commons for a vote of credit of £6,000,000 to 
strengthen the army and navy. He referred to the rumoured 
conditions of peace as revolutionary in their character and inad- 
missible without the sanction of the European Powers, and he 
asked for the confidence of Parliament as neces'Sary to make the 
Government powerful in the Conference which was to settle the 
definitive treaty. The publication of the preliminaries signed 
at Kezanlik and the resolute attitude of resistance assumed by 
Austria greatly strengthened the Ministry. The Opposition 
challenged the vote of credit, and an amendment, moved by Mr. 
Forster, was supported in debate by the chiefs of the Liberal 
party. On the 7th of February a telegram received from the 
British Embassy at Constantinople was read in the House, to 
the effect that the Eussians, in spite of the armistice which had 
been concluded, were pushing forward suspiciously, and that the 
Turks were in a state of panic. Mr. Forster, supported by Lord 
Hartington, withdrew his motion, and only a minority of ninety- 
six, headed by Mr. Trevelyan and Mr. Fawcett, voted against the 
Government. Confidence was not immediately restored by the 
assurances of Count Schouvaloff that no harm was meant, and 
that orders had been sent to the Generals in Europe and Asia 
to suspend their movements. Public opinion was more satisfied 
by the renewal of orders for an advance of the fleet, which on 
this occasion were not revoked. Admiral Hornby, declining to 
take notice of a Turkish protest, steamed through the Dardan- 
elles, and, leaving a couple of ironclads near Gallipoli, anchored 


with his main squadron at the Princes Islands, a few miles from 
the Golden Horn. 

The conditions of the armistice, it was found, included the 
right to occupy the Tchataldja lines outside Constantinople, and 
of this the Eussians availed themselves as soon as the British 
fleet had entered the Sea of Marmora. But European diplomacy 
was now at work, and the prospect appeared to be growing 
clearer. Prince Bismarck spoke hopefully of a Congress, which 
it was at this time expected might soon meet at Baden. Eussia 
gave explicit pledges not to occupy Gallipoli or the lines of 
Boulair. In Parliament the resistance to the vote of credit died 
out with a final protest from the minority. But the hopes of 
peace and of a settlement of the Eastern Question, once for all, 
in a European Congress were dispersed by the announcement of 
the terms of peace definitively agreed upon, as between the late 
belligerents, in a treaty signed at San Stefano on the 3rd of 

The chief stipulations were the cession of a large portion of 
Armenia to Eussia by Turkey, the transfer to Eussia by Eou- 
mania of Danubian Bessarabia in exchange for the Dobrudja, 
the payment of a large pecuniary indemnity by Turkey, the 
erection of Bulgaria, from the ^gean to the Danube, into an 
autonomous Christian principality, the recognition of the com- 
plete independence of Eoumania, extensions of territory for 
Servia and Montenegro, privileges like those of Crete for Thessaly 
and Epirus. The effect of each one of these provisions might 
be disputable, but, taken together, their effect plainly was to give 
Eussia a menacing preponderance in the Balkan Peninsula. This 
was felt in Austria no less than in England. Count Andrassy 
declared before the Delegations that the great interests of the 
Empire were threatened, and the war vote of sixty millions of 
florins, as to which there ' had been some demur, was at once 

The inopportune efforts of the peace party, as they were called, 
in this country to make demonstrations in Hyde Park and else- 
where provoked reprisals, and the war spirit became more and 
more inflamed, while diplomacy was fencing with facts and 
endeavouring to reconcile Eussian pretensions with the claims 
of Europe. The British Government consistently demanded 
that the Treaty of San Stefano should not only be " communi- 
cated in its entirety " to the Powers, but should be " submitted " 


to the Congress in the sense that every point considered by the 
plenipotentiaries as of European interest might be dealt with as 
such. This demand Eussia was unwilling to admit. Hence 
our Government was active in preparing for war, and was 
approved by the people. 

Lord Derby's resignation on the 28th of March cleared up 
much that was ambiguous. The retiring Foreign Secretary 
fully justified the policy of England in refusing to enter the 
Congress without guarantees, which Russia would not give, but 
he intimated that he could not join with his colleagues in the 
measures they deemed necessary at such a crisis. What those 
measures were Lord Derby thought he was bound not to say. 
The Prime Minister lost no time, however, in announcing that 
one of them was the calling out of the Reserve Forces, but there 
was a general feeling that this was not all. A few days after 
Lord Salisbury had taken Lord Derby's place at the Foreign 
Office, a circular was published with his signature which pro- 
duced a deep impression throughout Europe. This brilliant 
State paper subjected the Treaty of San Stefano to a rigorous 
criticism, showing that it established the predominance of Russia 
over the Turkish Empire, not by any single article, but by 
" the operation of the instrument as a whole." Lord Salisbury's 
reasoning was generally accepted as conclusive, though Mr. Bright 
and a Liberal deputation from the provinces urged Lord Gran- 
ville and Lord Hartington to protest against making Russia's 
refusal to enter the Congress on the conditions laid down 
by Lord Derby and Lord Salisbury the pretext for "a useless 
and criminal war." The Ministerial changes — Mr. Hardy, raised 
to the Upper House as Lord Cranbrook, taking the India Office, 
and Colonel Stanley the War Office — were marked by active 
preparations for possible hostilities. The mobilisation of the 
reserves was rapidly pushed forward. The leaders of the Oppo- 
sition, while severely criticising the measure, declined to support 
an amendment moved by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, which obtained only 
sixty-four votes, including those of Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright. 

A greater effect was produced by the announcement that the 
Government had sent orders to Calcutta for the immediate de- 
spatch of 7000 native troops to Malta. These proofs of the 
resolute attitude of England influenced the diplomatic move- 
ments, in which Germany now took a leading part. Prince 
Gortchakoff's despatches showed a desire to conciliate, and 


Count Schouvaloff' s journeys to and from St. Petersburg were 
significant of peace. The Russian Press was warned to subdue 
its tones, and little was henceforward heard about the American 
privateers, on the purchase and equipment of which the patriots 
of Moscow were spending large sums of money. Some weeks of 
suspense ensued. But when Parliament re-assembled after the 
Whitsuntide recess the strain was visibly lessened. The nego- 
tiations were conducted, of course, secretly, and in the meantime 
Parliament discussed at immense length the constitutional ques- 
tions arising out of the movement of the Indian troops. The 
Opposition contended that the conduct of the Ministry was 
inconsistent with the Bill of Rights, the Mutiny Act, and the 
Government of India Act It is unnecessary to enter into the 
details of what the Lord Chancellor described as " a dry and 
bare legal and constitutional controversy." In the House of 
Lords the Opposition did not go to a division ; in the House of 
Commons the Government had a majority of 121. The dispute 
created little interest out of doors. It was generally conceded 
that the Government had acted for the best in a difficult emer- 
gency, and that, even if they had infringed the letter of the law, 
which was not proved, the crisis might be pleaded as a sufficient 

On the 2nd of June it was announced in Parliament that the 
obstacles to the Congress were removed, Russia declaring herself 
" ready to participate " in all the discussions relating to the San 
Stefano Treaty, and that the German Government had invited 
the representatives of the Great Powers to meet at Berlin on 
the 1 3th. The Premiers and the Foreign Ministers of England, 
Germany, and Austria, and the Foreign Ministers of France and 
Italy, were among the plenipotentiaries. Russia was repre- 
sented by its Chancellor and Count Schouvaloff, Turkey by 
Caratheodori Pasha, a Greek Christian, and Mehemet Ali, a 
German convert to Islam. The appearance of Lord Beaconsfield 
and Lord Salisbury — especially of the former — at the Radziwill 
Palace excited the keenest interest in Berlin and throughout 
Europe, where English policy had not been so earnestly watched 
since the Crimean War. Much speculation was caused by the 
disclosure, through the indiscretion of a " writer " employed in 
the Foreign Office, of an agreement signed by Lord Salisbury 
and Count Schouvaloff on the 30th of May, in which those 
modifications in the San Stefano terms on which the British 


plenipotentiaries were prepared to insist were defined. Among 
them was conspicuous the division of Bulgaria into two provinces 
separated by the Balkans, while with respect to Asiatic Turkey 
the peculiar interest of England was expressly recognised. 

The published accounts of the policy thus disclosed were de- 
clared by the Government to be inaccurate and incomplete, and 
the contradictory reports as to what the Congress had decided 
created frequent alarms. It was not until the eve of the signa- 
ture of the Treaty of Berlin that the Government announced 
the conclusion, five weeks before, of a Convention with Turkey 
by which Great Britain engaged to defend the Sultan's dominions 
in Asia against Eussian attacks, while the Porte assented to our 
occupation of Cyprus, and promised to introduce "necessary 
reforms," subject to British approval. The negotiators at Berlin 
had by this time ended their labours. The treaty was signed 
on the 1 3th of July, and three days later Lord Beaconsfield was 
welcomed back in London with a great display of approbation. 
He addressed a few emphatic words to an applauding crowd in 
Downing Street, declaring that the British plenipotentiaries had 
brought back from Berlin " peace with honour." 

The Ministry had reason to be satisfied with the support of 
the country. In whatever particulars it appeared that the 
Treaty of Berlin was open to attack, as in dispossessing Rou- 
mania of Bessarabia or surrendering Batoum, Ardahan, and Kars 
to Russia, there was a conviction that if the arrangements made 
were honestly and fairly carried out, the Eastern Question might 
be regarded as settled, if not finally, at least for many years to 
come. The occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria 
was considered to be a guarantee for the co-operation of that 
Empire in restraining Russian ambition. The supposed irrita- 
tion of France and Italy was seen to be practically of no political 

The honours conferred by the Crown upon Lord Beaconsfield 
and Lord Salisbury were reafiirmed by numerous demonstrations 
of public opinion. It was not to be expected that the Opposition 
should take the same view ; Mr. Gladstone mocked at the 
Treaty of Berlin and denounced the Anglo-Turkish Convention 
as an " insane covenant," and Lord Hartington was forced to 
move a resolution in the House of Commons, which the Premier 
correctly described as " a string of congratulatory regrets." A 
long debate followed and a division, in which the Government 


obtained the decisive and almost unprecedented majority of 143. 
The session was soon afterwards brought to a close. The posi- 
tion of the Ministry was manifestly so strong that, according to 
a current rumour, an early dissolution was contemplated, by 
which a Conservative majority would have been, secured for 
another septennial term. But the Premier's speech at the 
Guildhall gave no hint of this, and the idea, if ever entertained, 
was soon abandoned. 

The Treaty of Berlin and the Convention with Turkey dealt 
with so many and such complicated arrangements that difficulties 
were clearly to be expected ; yet when they arose there were 
irrational disappointments and alarms. The administration of 
Cyprus was transferred from Turkish to British hands before 
the Congress broke up ; Sir Garnet Wolseley was appointed 
Governor ; and a large occupying force was sent to hold what 
Lord Beaconsfield has described as " a place of arms." Unfor- 
tunately, the season was unhealthy ; no proper sanitary arrange- 
ments had been made, and fever of an exhausting, though rarely 
fatal, kind seriously weakened the strength of the garrison. 
The propriety of selecting Cyprus as the British position in the 
Levant is still disputed, yet it is probable that next year will 
see the island settled and progressing under our rule, entailing 
no charges, except for the troops which we maintain there with 
a view to political eventualities, and at least as healthy as most 
of our military stations abroad. So, also, the Austrian occupa- 
tion of Bosnia was at first proclaimed to be a failure. The 
Mussulman inhabitants rose in insurrection against the advanc- 
ing forces of General Szapary, and a struggle followed, in which 
much blood was shed and religious animosities were seemingly 
aroused. But in a few weeks the resistance grew feeble, receiv- 
ing no encouragement from Constantinople, and before the close 
of the autumn this question also was practically settled. 

The delay in the execution of other parts of the Treaty of 
Berlin gave rise to renewed apprehensions of the same kind. 
The Turkish Government, as might have been anticipated, was 
not prompt to carry out its part of the contract. The Greeks, 
who had put forward their claims before the Congress met, and 
who had been disappointed at the result, protested against the 
delay in the delimitation of the new frontier. The opponents 
of the treaty in this country proclaimed with precipitate ardour 
that it was a failure, that Turkey was refusing to obey the 



mandates of Europe, and it was even said that Russia was freed 
from the obligation to carry out frankly the pledges she had 
given. Against this impatience several members of the Cabinet 
set themselves to contend in a series of provincial visits, under- 
taken at an unusually early period of the autumn, beginning with 
Lancashire and Yorkshire, and afterwards attacking advanced 
Liberalism in its main stronghold at Birmingham. On the other 
side, Mr. Gladstone and other critics, though not the recognised 
Liberal leaders, kept public opinion in a ferment. 

It was with some surprise that the country, on looking back 
from time to time, recognised the progress that had really been 
made. The flight of the Mussulman inhabitants of Roumelia 
into the Rhodope mountains had been due, as the Turks 
asserted, to the cruelties not only of the Bulgarians, but of 
the Russians. An International Commission of Inquiry was 
appointed, which published a report in the autumn, as to 
the fairness and conclusiveness of which there was, and is, 
much controversy. 

In Albania, where the Bosnian insurrection was still active, 
there was a violent agitation of the Mahomedan Arnauts, and, 
unfortunately, the popular excitement found a victim in Mehemet 
Ali, the Commissioner nominated by the Porte for carrying out 
the treaty arrangements in that quarter. Mehemet Ali was a 
German by birth, but had risen almost to the highest rank in 
the Turkish service, having not only commanded in chief during 
the campaign of 1877, but having been a plenipotentiary at 
Berlin. The Government at Constantinople was not strong 
enough to suppress these disorders, which, however, abated of 
themselves in a few months. The course taken by the Russian 
authorities in Bulgaria and Roumelia did not tend to strengthen 
the Porte. The Russian Governor, Prince Dondoukoff Korsakoff, 
was reported to have used contemptuous language respecting the 
treaty, and to have declared, in substance, that the Czar did not 
intend to allow the separation of Eastern Roumelia from Bulgaria 
Proper to be carried into effect. These utterances of what Lord 
Beaconsfield has styled "irresponsible frivolity" were in some 
measure disavowed by the Czar's Government ; but the withdrawal 
of the Russian forces was delayed on the ground that the Turks 
were hesitating to agree to the execution of those parts of the 
San Stefano Treaty which were not dealt with at Berlin. 
Intrigues at the Porte complicated the situation, and it was not 


until near the end of tlie year that a new Turkish Ministry 
seemed likely to deprive Kussia of this pretext for prolonging 
the disturbance of Eastern Europe. 

The course of events at home and abroad drew Russia more 
and more towards conciliation. . A fortnight ago Lord Beacons- 
field was able to state — and in this he was supported by M. 
Waddington's contemporaneous testimony in the French Senate 
— that every day the treaty was advancing to its fulfilment, and 
that within the period of transition contemplated when the 
instrument was signed the complete attainment of all its objects 
might be looked for. In the same way, it may be hoped, the 
very natural difficulties in the way of executing the Anglo- 
Turkish Convention will be overcome in due time. The Porte 
has accepted in principle the administrative reforms for Asiatic 
Turkey proposed by Sir Henry Layard, and the Ministry of 
Khaireddin Pasha is more likely to give practical proof that 
they are to be carried out than one chosen from among the 
ordinary officials of the Porte. The political and social disor- 
ganisation of Turkey after the close of the war must be taken 
into account when we are considering the question whether the 
pacification of Europe has proceeded rapidly or not. The 
financial embarrassment at Constantinople has been extreme, and 
at first a general collapse was apparently at hand. The turbu- 
lence of the Softas and the conspiracy of Ali Suavi gave proof 
of the popular excitement ; but, though suspected plots have 
again within the past few weeks caused alarm in the palace, 
there is a visible improvement The new Grand Vizier, 
Khaireddin Pasha, a Tunisian politician and man of letters, 
patronised by Abdul Hamid, and the Foreign Minister, Cara- 
theodori Pasha, a Greek, are pledged to reforms, and more 
capable of understanding what reforms mean than the Turks of 
the old school. In Russia, troubles similar in kind, though less 
in degree, have retarded the restoration of tranquillity. The 
imminence of the financial danger was avowed. The Nihilist 
Societies defied the Government, Generals Trepoff and Mesentzoff, 
successively chiefs of the secret police, were assassinated, and 
the sternest repressive measures have but imperfectly controlled 
the revolutionary agitation. 

It was in connection with India that the most serious causes 
of disquietude arose. The shock of the Russo-Turkish struggle 
was felt throughout our Indian dominions. The natives showed 


an ominous restlessness. Distorted notions of what was happen- 
ing in European politics prevailed, and the distant form of 
Russia loomed vague and large upon the Oriental imagination. 
The financial policy of Sir John Strachey, which had imposed 
new taxes with the object of accumulating a famine insurance 
fund, was assailed with unusual violence. There were many 
signs of a belief that England had met with a check, and was, 
consequently, in a position to be forced into concessions. The 
seditious and libellous language of a part of the native press 
provoked the Viceroy early in the spring to pass with remark- 
able rapidity, as an urgent measure, an Act which subjected 
Indian newspapers to a severe censorship. The policy of this 
step was severely criticised in the Imperial Parliament by Mr. 
Gladstone and others, but was not reversed. Another symptom 
of the same nervous and suspicious frame of mind was visible 
in the alarm excited by rumours of the growing military strength 
of the Nizam, Scindiah, Holkar, and others of our feudatories. 
That the Government was not wholly indifferent to these 
rumours may be inferred from the enactment of a statute, also 
passed with " urgency," strictly regulating the importation -and 
possession of arms. 

The explanation of all this disquietude was afterwards made 
clear. The foreign relations of India beyond the north-west 
frontier had been troubled by Russian pressure in Afghanistan. 
Our alliance with the Ameer Shere Ali had fallen into practical 
abeyance ; he had rejected all our overtures, while evidence was 
forthcoming that Russian intercourse with Cabul was becoming 
constantly more intimate and frequent. When from the Euro- 
pean complications it appeared only too probable that England 
and Russia would be involved in war, the Indian Government 
was compelled to watch more closely the current of Afghan 
politics. It was discovered not only that a Russian Embassy 
was received at Cabul with an ostentatious display of sympathy, 
and that the Ameer, who despatched an envoy in return to 
Tashkend, was discussing political questions with the emissaries 
of the Czar, but that movements of Russian troops had actually 
commenced with a view to a diversion of the English power in 
the event of a European war. It was not possible to blame 
Russia for this, but, coupled with her forgetfulness of her pledges 
not to meddle with Afghan affairs, its significance could not be 


Lord Lytton having drawn the attention of the Home Govern- 
ment to the importance of the events in Afghanistan and Cen- 
tral Asia, was authorised to depart from the inaction to which 
Indian policy had consented in the past. The Ameer was 
requested to receive in his capital a British mission headed by 
Sir Neville Chamberlain- It was clear that the objection pre- 
viously urged by the Ameer, the impossibility of guaranteeing 
the personal security of a European envoy at Cabul, had been 
removed by the reception of General Stolieteff and his suite. 
A native agent was sent on to explain to the Ameer the purpose 
of the mission, and the reasons why its rejection would be 
regarded as an act of hostility. But when Sir Neville Cham- 
berlain and his companions reached the Khyber Pass, Major 
Cavagnari, who had advanced to Fort Ali Masjid, was turned 
back with threats, and with the intimation that the progress of 
the mission would be forcibly resisted. An evasive letter from 
Shere Ali was received while the Government were considering 
whether war should be instantly declared or not, and it was 
decided to despatch an ultimatum to Cabul calling upon the 
Ameer for a suitable apology and the reception of a permanent 
British Mission in his dominions. It is tolerably certain that, if 
public opinion in this country had been fully informed as to the 
facts upon which the Imperial and Indian Governments acted, 
there would have been no serious differences of opinion. But 
there was no authentic knowledge of the relations between the 
Russians and the Afghans, and some political opponents of the 
Government hastened to affirm that Lord Beaconsfield and Lord 
Lytton were acting upon unjustifiable suspicions with a view to 
territorial aggrandisement 

Lord Lawrence, Lord Northbrook, and other eminent per- 
sonages who had been connected with Indian administration, 
broke through the traditional reserve of Anglo-Indian politicians 
and denounced our interference with Afghanistan. An " Afghan 
Committee " was formed, which attempted to coerce the Govern- 
ment into suspending the declaration of war until Parliament 
had pronounced upon it. But the Government was firm, and 
the agitation met with no popular support. This was the more 
creditable because the question had been complicated by issues 
which the publication of the Parliamentary papers and the 
debates in Parliament have since cleared away. It was argued 
that the Ameer had probably received no Russian Mission at 


all ; that he was equally ready to receive an English Mission, if 
not discourteously treated ; that he was entitled to the comity 
and the rights which international law accords to independent 
Powers. It was asserted that the war would cost " at the least " 
fifteen millions, perhaps twenty or thirty. It was predicted 
that Shere All's army would prove more than a match for the 
troops prepared for the expedition ; that the hill tribes would 
cut off the invading armies ; that the winter would make an 
advance impracticable or highly perilous. 

Nevertheless, when no answer was received from the Ameer 
on the day named in the ultimatum, the 20th of November, the 
war began. The British forces advanced upon the Afghan 
territory in three columns, one moving by the Khyber Pass, a 
second by the Kuram, and a third by the Bolan. The first, 
under Sir Samuel Browne, captured Fort Ali Masjid without 
encountering serious resistance, and marched on to Dakka, with 
some risk to its communications from the marauding hillmen. 
General Biddulph's movements from Quetta in the direction of 
Candahar were slow, but unobstructed. But to General Roberts 
and his small force in the Kuram Valley fell the most important 
successes, skilfully as well as gallantly won. The Afghans, 
strongly reinforced, and commanded, according to rumour, by 
one of the Ameer's sons, had held the fortified positions of the 
Peiwar Pass. By well-executed turning movements, combined 
with resolute hand-to-hand fighting, those positions were taken, 
and the Afghans retreated in disorder, making no stand even in 
the Shutar-gardan Pass, which, however, the snow has probably 
closed by this time to our troops. On the 20th of December, 
exactly one month after the declaration of war. General Browne 
marched unopposed into Jellalabad. Shere Ali had already taken 
flight from Cabul into Balkh, leaving anarchy behind him. His 
son, Yakoob Khan, has been released, and has seized the reins of 
government ; but he commands no organised army. It is im- 
probable that any further military movements will be attempted, 
either towards Candahar or Cabul, till the winter is over. 

Lord Beaconsfield, in a speech on Lord Mayor's Day, pointed 
out that the occupation of a " scientific frontier " was one of the 
results to be looked for from the war — a statement unfairly con- 
strued to mean that this was our object in declaring war. It 
was desirable that this and other misapprehensions should be 
cleared up. Public opinion was satisfied by the convocation of 


Parliament for the 5th of December, in compliance with the 
spirit of the Government of India Act. At the same time the 
official correspondence relating to Afghanistan and Central Asia 
was published, and a striking change in public opinion was at 
once produced, which was confirmed by the debates in both 
Houses of Parliament. 

In the House of Lords, Lord Cranbrook's motion demanding 
the assent of Parliament for the expenditure of Indian revenues 
upon the war was met with an amendment by Lord Halifax, 
which, after an instructive debate, was rejected by a majority of 
201 against 65. In the House of Commons two attacks were 
opened — by Mr. Whitbread, in the form of an amendment to 
the Address, condemning the general policy of the Government, 
and by Mr. Fawcett, in the form of an amendment to Mr. Stan- 
hope's demand for the assent of the House to the use of the 
Indian revenues. The majority in favour of the Government 
in the former case was 101, and in the latter 110. But the 
greatest effect was produced by the admissions of the leading 
statesmen of the Opposition, who with scarcely an exception 
acknowledged that the danger of Kussian interference in Afghan- 
istan was a real one, and only contended that the Liberal policy 
had actively striven to oppose that influence. The whole 
question which the country had to decide was thus placed in a 
new light ; the reasonings which had been partially accepted in 
the autumn lost their relevancy. The force of the Ministerial 
motives being recognised, there was no difficulty in conceding to 
Ministers the right to act upon them. 

In France at the beginning of the year the victory of the 
Republicans was seen to be complete. The Chamber of Deputies 
was inclined to urge more radical measures than the Cabinet 
would, perhaps, have been disposed to accept, but the Conserva- 
tive majority in the Senate acted as a sensible, though not 
visible, check. The resistance of Marshal MacMahon was 
apparently broken. Though rumours were often raised that 
another 16th of May was not out of the range of probability 
the public refused to believe them, and the Marshal gradually 
fell into the habit of following his Ministers' advice as implicitly 
as an ordinary Constitutional King. The country was pros- 
perous, and all the trading classes looked forward to the 
Exhibition as certain to bring them large gains and to quicken 
the pulses of commerce. 


Nothing has done French Conservatism more injury with the 
masses of the people than the hidden intrigues by which an 
attempt, happily unsuccessful, was made to thwart an enterprise 
at once so profitable and so creditable to France. The success 
of the Exhibition confirmed the Republic as a safe and satisfac- 
tory form of government in the goodwill of the bourgeoisie and 
peasantry. If, unlike the Imperial display of 1867, it did not 
attract all the pleasure-lovers of the world, it drew to Paris vast 
crowds from the French provinces whom the Empire would by 
no means have welcomed in the capital. The interest taken in 
the Exhibition by the Prince of Wales and other illustrious 
personages was a blow to the enemies of the Republic, who had 
persuaded themselves that European royalty would scorn a 
parvenu Government and all its works. The credit which the 
dignified and firm, and at the same time prudent, management 
of foreign affairs by M. Waddington secured for the Republic 
was distasteful in the same way to the Opposition, who turned 
against it all the weapons of sarcasm, now contemning it as 
weakly timid because it obtained no advantages for France at 
Berlin, now charging it with meddlesome recklessness, now 
denouncing it as subservient to England. 

But the French people have cordially approved M. Wadding- 
ton's course, and, while sympathising with the aims of this 
country in the diplomatic struggle against Russia, have not 
called for dangerous activity. This dominance of common sense 
and caution in French politics is a novel development of the 
national character. It is curious to note that it has become 
visible at a time when independent observers are astonished by 
the military strength of the country which was laid prostrate 
eight years ago. The communal elections of the autumn have 
practically determined the issue of those in which, early next 
year, one-third of the Senate is to be renewed. The Republican 
party will then, beyond doubt, control both Chambers, and will 
be in a position either to re-elect Marshal MacMahon as President 
or to give him a staunch Republican successor. The influence of 
the Republican movement in France has been powerfully felt in 
the neighbouring kingdom of Belgium ; not, indeed, that King 
Leopold's throne is in the least degree menaced, but that the 
defeat of French clericalism has brought the clerical Ministry 
at Brussels to the ground. The elections a few months ago con- 
clusively proved that M. Malou and his colleagues had become 


unpopular in towns where clerical influence was triumphant 
some years back. The Liberal Administration of M. Frere- 
Orban has the support of a powerful majority, and, if it does 
not attempt to advance too fast, may retain power long. 

The national self-esteem of Germany was gratified by the 
leading part which the Imperial Chancellor took in the negotia- 
tions for the new settlement of Europe. The presidency of 
Prince Bismarck at the Congress and the very style and title of 
the treaty bore testimony to German hegemony on the Continent. 
But the cares of the Germans were soon diverted from foreign to 
domestic events. In May a Saxon tinsmith, named Hodel, 
attempted the life of the Emperor William, in the Unter den 
Linden at Berlin, and, though unsuccessful, showed a malignant 
resolution that inspired general alarm. Prince Bismarck's 
immediate followers, as well as the Conservatives in general, 
called for measures of severe repression, which the National 
Liberals were unwilling to grant But early in June another 
and more desperate attack, of the same kind, was executed by a 
Dr. Nobiling, a man of some education and position, who fired 
at and wounded the Emperor in the face and side, shooting 
himself immediately afterwards through the head. Nobiling 
died after a lingering agony, but Hodel was tried, condemned, 
and executed. The Liberal opposition to anti-Socialist legisla- 
tion declined, and Prince Bismarck hastened to dissolve the 
Reichstag, on the ground that it had refused the Government 
extraordinary powers at an extraordinary crisis. 

The Crown Prince assumed the temporary authority of 
Regent, but thfe Emperor's vigour of constitution carried him 
safely through his dangers, and before the winter he had resumed 
the exercise of his sovereign power. While it was still uncertain 
whether he would survive his wounds, and while judicial inquiries 
had brought to light the fact that both Hodel and Nobiling had 
been connected with the Social - Democratic movement, the 
elections were held ; the National Liberal party found its 
strength much diminished ; the more advanced Liberals and 
Socialists lost still more ground ; while the Conservatives on 
the one side, and the Ultramontanes and Particularists on the 
other, were both positively and relatively strengthened. It was 
at first believed that the Liberals, though in a minority, would 
firmly resist the Anti-Socialist Bill, and that the Government 
could not triumph without Ultramontane aid ; but a compromise 


has been adopted, and Prince Bismarck has obtained powers 
almost as great as those originally asked for, which are now 
being vigorously used. 

The policy of Italy cannot be praised for the stability and 
sound sense which have borne such good fruit in France. A 
want of balanced judgment and an excitability of temper retard 
the progress and detract from the reputation of a people with 
great capacities and a great history as well as the power of 
understanding and applying Constitutional principles. The 
death of King Victor Emmanuel, quickly followed by that of 
Pius IX., no doubt introduced disturbing elements, but it is 
not to these that we must attribute the fluctuations of Italian 
politics. Though the loss of Victor Emmanuel was keenly felt, 
the universal acceptance of his son, King Humbert, as his 
successor, tended to strengthen the State, and the new King 
has shown that he knows how to govern as a Constitutional 

The election of Cardinal Pecci to the Popedom with the title 
of Leo XI 1 1, begot hopes which have not been realised. Leo 
XIII. had used conciliatory language in his earliest pontifical 
utterances, and it was assumed that his policy, without recog- 
nising any change in the ideas and aims of the Holy See, would 
shift from the untenable positions of the Syllabus, and would 
allow the claims of Infallibility to recede into the background. 
But it quickly appeared that the Pope, though proceeding by a 
different path from that which his predecessor had travelled, was 
to the full as determined to uphold the authority of the Church. 
He has distinctly refused to acknowledge even indirectly the 
new Government of Italy, and he has repudiated in the strongest 
language the doctrines of toleration now accepted in all civilised 

The Italian kingdom, however, was too strong to be shaken 
by a weakened renewal of Papal thunders. It was through 
internal party conflicts that weakness began to show itself. 
Signor Depretis, having ejected Signor Nicotera and his following, 
had formed a new Cabinet with the aid of Signor Crispi, but 
from this the Extreme Left and Right held equally aloof, while 
sectional and personal dissensions mined the Ministerial ranks. 
A scandal in which Signor Crispi's name was involved precipi- 
tated another crisis. Signor Depretis was defeated and resigned, 
and Signor Cairoli, formerly a Garibaldian soldier, was called 


upon by King Humbert, as the chief of the largest fraction of 
the coalesced Opposition, to form a Cabinet. He was unable to 
enlist the support either of the Right or of the Depretis con- 
nection, and he had, of course, to reckon with the hostility of 
Nicotera and Crispi. His Ministry, however, was respected for 
its moral qualities, and might have held its ground had it not 
been for the agitations stirred by the Eastern Question. 

Italy has profited by all recent wars in Europe, and it seemed 
to many Italians that they had an inalienable right to a share in 
the redistribution of the Turkish dominions. A cry was raised 
for " Italia Irredenta," for the restoration of the " unredeemed " 
Trentino and Trieste. Count Corti, the Italian Plenipotentiary 
at the Congress, put forward no such claim, but Signor Cairoli 
did not emphatically disavow the demands of the agitators, while 
at the same time he refused to enforce disciplinary measures in 
the army and navy, on which the Ministers for War and Marine 
insisted. The result was the retirement of Count Corti and the 
two last-named Ministers, and the reconstruction of the Cabinet 
in a still more Radical sense — a change which renewed the hopes 
of the hostile factions. The Austrian occupation of Bosnia kept 
up the Italian cry for territorial gains, and when the time drew 
near for the meeting of the Chambers at Rome, it was apparent 
that another adverse coalition would be formed. An attempt to 
assassinate the King at Naples, made by a half-crazy cook named 
Passanante, an imitator of the German regicides Hodel and 
Nobiling, happily failed, but, joined with murderous outrages 
upon the loyal processions at Florence and Pisa, it drew atten- 
tion to the simmering of Socialism in the country. 

The Ministers met the Chambers with a declaration that 
social disorders would be more stringently dealt with, but at the 
same time with the announcement that the electoral franchise 
would be enlarged. Most Italian politicians are opposed to such 
a measure, and the withdrawal by Leo XIII. of his predecessor's 
command, Nk eletti, n^ elettori, had increased the indisposition to 
face such a change. The Right, headed by Sella, Lanza, and 
Minghetti, and various sections of the Left, headed by Depretis, 
Crispi, and Nicotera, united to record a crushing vote against 
Signor Cairoli, who at once resigned. After some hesitation, Signor 
Depretis consented to take office once more, but, as he will be 
opposed by the Right in a body and by the Cairoli and Nicotera 
groups, it seems improbable that he can long retain power. 


In Spain the fortunes of the royal family have been the 
centre of interest. Early in the year it was announced that 
King Alfonso was about to take to wife his cousin, the Princess 
Mercedes, daughter of the Due de Montpensier. The marriage, 
which was celebrated on the 23rd of January with great pomp, 
was believed to be not popular with the Spanish people, and it 
was certainly opposed by the Moderado, or extreme Conservative 
party, and the Ex- Queen Isabella. But the young Queen 
quickly won all hearts by her grace, her kindliness, and her 
high spirit. Her influence was a guarantee for her husband's 
throne, and would possibly have been used, as became her 
Orleanist origin, in the cause of Liberalism. But after a few 
months of wedded happiness a sudden fever carried her off, to 
the deep grief of the whole nation, and, indeed, it may be said 
of all the civilised world. The domestic misery of the King, 
perhaps, helped to keep factions under. If disaffection began 
afterwards to move, it was checked rather than stimulated by 
the crime of the Tarragonian assassin Moncasi, who, like the 
Italian Passanante, was a mere copyist of the more resolute 
German criminals. 

The domestic annals of Austria are interesting only from their 
connection with foreign policy. The Magyars, moved at once 
by traditional sympathy with Turkey and by hatred of Eussia, 
suspicious also of any increase of the Slav element in the 
empire, looked askance at Count Andrassy's scheme for the 
occupation of Bosnia. There was a violent agitation against the 
Tisza Ministry, but in October the Diet at Pesth gave the 
Government a decisive majority, and finally ratified the policy 
of occupation. In Eoumania the popular protests against the 
retrocession of Bessarabia have also come to nothing. The 
declaration of independence has caused no increase of political 
activity in Eoumania, Servia, or Montenegro. 

The settlement of the Eastern Question has been advanced 
by the introduction of reforms in Egypt and the adoption of a 
policy, in which England and France are agreed, for the super- 
vision of Egyptian affairs. The financial system introduced by 
Mr. Goschen and M. Joubert had not been successful, and a new 
Commission of Inquiry was ordered, in which Mr. Eivers 
Wilson, formerly of the English Treasury, took the leading part. 
The report of the Commission brought to the mind of the 
Khedive the conviction that safety was to be secured only by a 


complete surrender. Accordingly, he accepted, in August last, 
the conditions imposed upon him ; entrusted Nubar Pasha, the 
ablest of Egyptian statesmen, with the task of forming a Ministry, 
Mr. Rivers Wilson becoming Minister of Finance ; and declared 
that the Daira Estates held by himself and his family would be 
unconditionally restored to the State. The change was hailed 
with general satisfaction in Western Europe, but in France, 
where some of the anti-Republicans were harping upon the 
acquisition of Cyprus by England, an unreasonable outcry was 
raised against English preponderance in Egypt. A compromise 
was ultimately agreed upon ; a French Minister of Public Works 
was chosen as Mr. Rivers Wilson's colleague, and two Com- 
missioners of the Public Debt, an Englishman and a Frenchman, 
were appointed, the Governments pledging themselves to main- 
tain them in power. 

In the Far East there have been few events to record. China 
has been smitten by a famine more terrible than those we have 
had to encounter in India. Nine millions of people were said to 
be starving, and an appeal was made to the liberality of the 
English people, not in vain. But even this gigantic calamity is 
of little moment in comparison with the extent and population 
of the Celestial Empire. The Chinese power is growing stronger 
rather than weaker, and the demand for the restoration of 
Kuldja, now being vigorously pressed at St. Petersburg, is a 
proof of the revival of a military and political ambition that 
may once more become a powerful factor in Asiatic affairs. 

The United States have enjoyed peace and have advanced 
towards prosperity during the year. President Hayes' veto on 
the Silver Remonetisation Bill was overruled by a two-thirds 
vote of Congress last spring ; but the mischief of the issue of 
depreciated coin has been minimised by the prudent management 
of the Treasury. The antagonistic parties endeavoured to dis- 
credit each other by disinterring scandals connected with the last 
Presidential contest, clearly with a view to influence the Fall 
elections. Neither side escaped from this cross fire of accusations 
unscathed, but the excitement of the strife soon abated in the 
presence of a common and most formidable enemy. 

The greenback inflationists and the Labour agitators joined 
their forces and formed a new party, which threatened at once 
public credit and private capital. This " National " party gained 
some ominous successes in Maine, and seemed likely to win for 


General Butler the Governorship of Massachusetts. But the 
alarm was given in time, and at the Fall elections the " Green- 
back-Labour" candidates were beaten everywhere, while the 
Democrats, who had coquetted with them, suffered severe losses 
in the north and west. When Congress met in December the 
President's Message announced that resumption of specie pay- 
ments would be carried into effect according to law on New 
Year's Day. No opposition was threatened, and the revival of 
mercantile activity already visible is confidently expected to 
make rapid progress on a basis of hard money. It was unfor- 
tunate for the prospects of this revival that a frightful epidemic 
of yellow fever broke out in the Southern States during the 
autumn, causing a great destruction of life and suspension of 
trade. But this danger has passed away with the approach of 
winter. It is satisfactory to add that, in spite of some un- 
becoming murmurs, the compensation awarded to Canada in 
November 1877 by the arbitrators at Halifax has been paid. 
A question has arisen with respect to the use of the Newfound- 
land fisheries, but it is not probable that this issue will seriously 
divide the two nations. 

In the British Colonies the year has been unusually eventful. 
The European crisis drew from our colonial fellow-subjects in 
every part of the world expressions of sympathy with the mother 
country and even offers of material aid. In Canada, where 
Lord Dufferin had encouraged the growth of a high spirit of 
Imperial pride, these proofs of loyalty were most conspicuous. 
They were the more remarkable because the Dominion was at 
the time on the eve of a pitched battle between domestic parties, 
which in September resulted in the defeat of the Mackenzie 
Ministry and the return of a large Parliamentary majority in 
support of Sir John A. Macdonald and his policy of protection 
to native industry. Before the change of Ministry rendered 
necessary by the elections took place it had been announced that 
the Marquis of Lome was selected as Lord Dufferin's successor 
in the Governor - Generalship. The Canadians, though they 
regretted the departure of the latter, were well pleased at the 
prospect of having one of the Queen's daughters at the head of 
their colonial society. The reception of the Governor-General 
and the Princess a few weeks ago displayed an abounding 
enthusiasm, and the appointment seems to have bound the 
Dominion closer to the mother country. 


In South Africa the prospect is less satisfactory. At the 
beginning of the year it was supposed that the Galeka rising in 
Caflfraria had been suppressed ; but the Gaikas rose immediately 
afterwards, and other troubles broke out, which prolonged the 
border warfare for many months. Sir Bartle Frere's energetic 
policy was hampered by his Ministry, who claimed an inde- 
pendent control of the war that could not be granted consistently 
with the public safety. They were accordingly dismissed, and 
a new Cabinet was formed, which, with the aid of the Imperial 
troops, had restored tranquillity in Caffraria by the end of July. 
But the services of the troops were found to be at once and 
urgently required in Natal and the Transvaal, where the Zulu 
King had for some time been threatening hostilities, and where 
one of his vassals was actually defying the British rule in arms. 
Lord Chelmsford, who was in command of the Queen's forces, 
found the situation so serious that he called for reinforcements 
from home. These have now been despatched, but as the year 
closes it is not known whether peace with the Zulus will be pre- 
served or not, or whether our forces in South Africa are strong 
enough to control all the elements of disorder. 

In Australasia there has been material progress, and most of 
the colonies have been applying for loans ; but the prevalent 
distrust in the Money-market at home has not been favourable 
to such demands, while the political turmoil in Victoria has 
unfairly prejudiced other and steadier communities. Another 
Victorian " dead-lock " was causing embarrassment early in the 
year ; the Legislative Council had rejected the Appropriation 
Bill, and Mr. Berry's Ministry, supported by the Assembly, had 
dismissed important classes of officials with a view to coercing or 
punishing the opposite party. A compromise was afterwards 
arranged, but during the autumn discussions upon schemes of 
constitutional amendment have led to other conflicts between 
the Legislative Chambers. At the present moment a truce 
is maintained, while both parties are preparing to invoke the 
intervention of the Imperial Parliament. 

In domestic politics there has been little interest or novelty. 
At the bye-elections both sides have generally taken up their 
ground upon one view or another of the Eastern Question. The 
Liberal party, supported by Mr. Gladstone's authority, have 
adopted the Birmingham system of organisation in a great 
number of large boroughs. It seems doubtful, however, whether 


the bodies thus constituted will be permanently popular with 
Englishmen. An attempt to subject Mr. Forster to humiliating 
dictation at Bradford was indignantly repelled ; and at Peter- 
borough, after dividing the party and nearly losing a Liberal 
stronghold, the "caucus" was ignominiously defeated. In some 
of the metropolitan constituencies there is an apparent tendency 
to reject this importation from the politics of the United States. 
In Scotland the question of Church Disestablishment has been 
raised, and the hostility to the Government, which was con- 
spicuously displayed in the Argyllshire election, may possibly 
take the form of an attack on the Establishment. Home Rule 
in Ireland has lost much of its energy. Mr. Butt has separated 
himself more distinctly than before from the uncompromising 
Obstructionists, and not only supported the Government by his 
speech and vote in the most critical division of last session, but 
protested firmly against the plan of moving an amendment to 
the Address. The enactment of a measure in aid of Intermediate 
Education has excited some hope among the clerical party that 
the University question will be similarly dealt ^with. The Land 
question is still regarded by the Irish masses as an open one, in 
spite of Mr. Gladstone's legislation only eight years ago. The 
savage murder of Lord Leitrim in Donegal furnished a deplor- 
able proof of the social perils of this restlessness, which, it is to 
be feared, no settlement that Parliament could adopt is likely to 
allay. The perpetrators of the crime have not yet been brought 
to justice. 

Though the harvest has been plentiful, the year has been 
remarkable for singular climatic variations. The storms of the 
spring were most formidable ; in one of the worst of these, 
complicated with a blinding fall of snow, the Eurydice training 
ship, with a crew of 330 young men and boys on board, capsized 
off the Isle of Wight, within view of the land, and went to the 
bottom with nearly every one on board. The floods of the 
summer and autumn will be long remembered. On the 24th of 
June an unprecedented rainfall of almost three inches drenched 
London. Thunderstorms of remarkable violence were frequent. 
These atmospheric disturbances were followed by a winter of 
extraordinary severity. The cold in the metropolis, though 
severe, has been insignificant compared with that in Scotland, in 
the North of England, and even in Ireland. 

With the loss of the Eurydice may be classed two other 



catastrophes which happened off the South Coast — the collision 
between the German ironclads Grosser Kurfiirst and Konig 
Wilhelm off Dungeness, in which the former went down ; and 
the sinking of the Transatlantic passenger steamer Pommerania 
in the same waters from a similar cause. But these disasters 
were dwarfed by the horrors of the running down of the Princess 
Alice river steamer, near Woolwich. This slightly-built pleasure- 
boat, laden with from 700 to '800 London holiday-makers, came 
into collision, through want of skill or care in her navigation, with 
a heavy iron-built collier, and went instantly to the bottom. 
Only a few of the passengers were saved. In comparison with 
this ruin the destruction of life in the accident to a Kamsgate 
excursion train at Sittingbourne was scarcely noticed. 

Few remarkable trials have occupied our Courts of Law. A 
singular conflict of jurisdictions between the Ecclesiastical and 
the Civil tribunals arose out of Mr. Mackonochie's defiance of 
episcopal commands. Lord Penzance in the Arches Court had 
pronounced sentence of suspension on Mr. Mackonochie for 
refusing to obey a " monition," and the Judicial Committee of 
the Privy Council confirmed the grounds upon which this judg- 
ment was founded. But Mr. Mackonochie applied to the Queen's 
Bench Division of the High Court for an injunction restraining 
Lord Penzance from proceeding with the sentence, and the writ 
was granted by the Lord Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Mellor, 
against the opinion of Mr. Justice Lush. This decision was a 
heavy blow not only at the Court of Arches, but at the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council After the lapse of some 
months Lord Penzance renewed the controversy by a severe 
criticism of the Queen's Bench judgment, and the Lord Chief 
Justice replied in a pungent pamphlet, which Lord Penzance has 
publicly announced he will not read. The dignity of none of 
the tribunals concerned has been enhanced by this squabble. It 
reminds us far too much of the bickerings from which Lord 
Justice Christian's retirement has lately relieved the Court of 
Appeals in Dublin. Mr. Russell Gurney, shortly before his 
death, resigned the Recordership of London, and the Common 
Serjeant, Sir T. Chambers, was elevated to the vacant place. A 
keen contest for the Common Serjeantcy resulted in the choice 
by the Corporation of Mr. Charley, M.P. 

The most illustrious name in the obituary of the year is that 
of the Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse. This, the first 



death in the immediate family circle of the Queen since the 
Prince Consort's, affected the country deeply and painfully. The 
pathetic incidents of the fatal event touched the popular heart 
and quickened the sympathetic loyalty of the English people. 
Something similar were the feelings aroused in Spain by the 
untimely death of Queen Mercedes, to which we have already 

The attachment of a nation to a* dynasty was displayed under 
very different conditions in Italy on the death of King Victor 
Emmanuel, a few days after his old servant and companion in 
arms, General La Marmora. Victor Emmanuel was not a man 
of genius, yet he left the indelible impress of his character upon 
the history of his country and his time. His sincerity, his 
courage, his devotion to the cause of Italian unity, of which he 
became the champion in its darkest days, were as indispensable 
for the success of the aspirations of Italy as the splendid audacity 
of Garibaldi, the fervent genius of Mazzini, and the intrepid 
statesmanship of Cavour. If Italian Constitutionalism survives 
its trials, it will owe much to the first King of United Italy. 
Far different was the work of Pius IX., who, having lived to see 
more than " the years of Peter," died within a month after the 
destroyer of the temporal power. If Victor Emmanuel advanced 
the hopes of European Constitutionalism, Pope Pius toiled 
zealously to round the orb of Papal despotism. His failure was 
inevitable, though he was obeyed by the clergy and revered by 
the faithful as few Popes have been since the Eeformation. 

Two other former wielders of sovereign power passed 
away during the year — George, King of Hanover and Duke 
of Cumberland, and Maria Christina, formerly Queen -Eegent 
of Spain. 

At home the death of Earl Eussell at a patriarchal age broke 
one of the links that joined the England of our day with the 
England of our fathers. The veteran Whig statesman had 
retired for nearly ten years from active political strife, though the 
memory of his long and fruitful career gave him an unchallenged 
authority in politics. 

Lord Chelmsford was a year or two younger than Earl 
Russell ; he was a staunch Conservative ; but though a Cabinet 
Minister, he had never been conspicuous as a politician. As a 
leader of the Bar and an advocate of graceful presence and 
persuasive elocLuence he was more remarkable than as Lord 


Chancellor. He had the rare fortune of living long enough to 
see two of his sons serving tlje State in high places, the one as 
General commanding the Queen's forces in South Africa, the 
other as Lord Justice of Appeal. 

In Mr. Russell Gurney, Recorder of London and M.P. for 
Southampton, the Conservative party lost one of its most 
respected members. The death of Mr. Wykeham Martin within 
the precincts of the House of Commons — an event unparalleled 
since the murder of Perceval in the lobby — created a painful 
sensation. The eccentricities, tempered by good-humour, of the 
late Mr. Whalley, champion of Protestantism and of "the 
Claimant," will dwell long in the kindly remembrance of 

Among other personages well known in English society, 
politics, art, or letters who have disappeared from the scene may 
be mentioned the accomplished and scholarly Sir W. Stirling- 
Maxwell ; Mr. George Payne, the highest authority upon all 
sporting questions ; Sir Gilbert Scott, the most distinguished of 
our modern architects ; Sir Francis Grant, the President of the 
Royal Academy ; George Cruickshank, the greatest of carica- 
turists ; George Henry Lewes, philosopher and critic ; and two 
actors of very different schools, but each of remarkable powers 
— Charles Mathews and Samuel Phelps. 

Ireland lost two men who, though not actively engaged in 
politics, exercised a strong political influence on opposing sides. 
Paul CuUen, Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin, was the life and 
soul of the Ultramontane movement in Ireland ; Mr. Justice 
Keogh was one of a small number of Irish Roman Catholic 
Liberals whom the Ultramontane victories drove into a social, 
and almost a political. Conservatism. 

In France, M. Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans, was, like the 
Irish Cardinal, the ablest and most powerful champion of the 
Church and its claims ; but in literary skill and intellectual 
culture he was raised above all comparison with the Archbishop 
of Dublin, though a certain Galilean independence caused him 
to miss the honours which the latter easily achieved. The 
opponents of French Ultramontanism have few characteristics in 
common with Judge Keogh ; such were the aged Radical Raspail 
and Gamier Pag^s, sometime member of the Provisional Govern- 
ment of 1848, who died during the year. So also did Count 
Palikao, a soldier of the Second Empire, chiefly famed for his 


sliare in the invasion of China, and for his tenure of the War 
Ministry in 1870, down to the disaster at Sedan. 

In Italy, besides Victor Emmanuel and Pius IX., were re- 
moved General La Marmora, the organiser of the military 
strength of Piedmont ; Count Sclopis, an eminent jurist and 
diplomatist, who presided at the Geneva Arbitration ; and 
Father Secchi, the astronomer. James Fazy, once Dictator of 
Geneva, passed away at a patriarchal age ; and M. Bulgaris, one 
of the best known political leaders of modern Greece, left the 
stage clear for his rivals. 

The United States have lost in Mr. Cullen Bryant not only 
a patriarch in letters and journalism, but a true poet, where 
poets were few. A more singular product of American society 
was removed in Tweed, the former autocrat of the Tammany 

In scientific research and discovery, in literature and the arts, 
the year 1878 has shown no slackening of energy, though it has 
produced no pre-eminent achievements of genius. The invention 
of the telephone, which attracted so much attention in 1877, 
has been the precursor of further advances in the same direction ; 
the microphone and the phonograph, of which the former 
magnifies sounds while the latter prints them for subsequent 
reproduction by electricity, are still little more than toys, but 
their future employment in science and practice may be regarded 
as certain. 

Of more practical and immediate interest is the application 
of various schemes of electric lighting to ordinary use, both in 
buildings and in open spaces. In these regions of discovery the 
promised revelations of an American, Mr. Edison, have excited 
great curiosity. At Paris, during the Exhibition, the electric 
light was burnt in some of the main thoroughfares and in the 
building in the Champ de Mars. The apparent success of the 
experiment led to its repetition, on a smaller scale, in many 
parts of London. In the autumn the holders of gas shares 
became alarmed, and a heavy fall in the prices of those securities 
ensued, which was repeated and intensified upon the statement 
that Mr. Edison had succeeded in dividing the electric light for 
purposes of ordinary illumination. This panic has somewhat 
abated, but has by no means passed away. 

It may be mentioned that within the past twelve months 
strong reasons have been assigned to confirm the suspicion that 


one or more planets exist between Mercury and the sun. The 
observations in America of the total solar eclipse, as well as those 
of the transit of Mercury, were very important. Mr. Norman 
Lockyer's spectroscopic inquiries have cast a doubt upon the 
assumed simplicity of some among the primary chemical elements. 
Geographical exploration has not advanced rapidly, though 
Captain Burton's journey through the ancient gold-producing 
"land of Midian," and Professor Nordenskj old's Swedish expe- 
dition to open up the North -East passage through the Arctic 
Ocean, may bear fruit hereafter. 

The artistic gains of the country may possibly be held to 
include the erection on the Thames Embankment of Cleopatra's 
Needle, which, after its shipwreck off the Spanish coast last year, 
was towed into the Thames early in the spring, and was safely 
placed in the position assigned for it some months later. The 
claims of the English school of painting to European acceptance 
were amply recognised at the Paris Exhibition. Among the 
English artists honoured on that occasion by the graceful homage 
of their foreign rivals was Mr. Frederick Leighton, who, though 
his fame rests mainly upon his painting, had shown his versa- 
tility by exhibiting a sculptured group of the highest merit at 
Paris. On the death of Sir F. Grant the Presidency of the 
Royal Academy was filled by the election of Mr. (now Sir 
Frederick) Leighton to the vacant chair. 

In literature, while there was no less activity than in former 
years, no country could boast of the appearance of many master- 
pieces. The most important literary movements were closely 
connected with politics. The Voltaire Centeiiary in France was 
organised by the Advanced Republicans as an indirect attack 
upon clericalism. The publication in Germany of Herr Moritz 
Busch's Conversations of Prince Bismarck was probably not 
an aimless indiscretion, whatever may have been the motive that 
prompted it. A careful and laborious inquiry into the question 
of copyright in this country has prepared the way for legislation, 
and there are signs that the publishing interest in the United 
States — or, at least, some of the most powerful firms — would 
now be well pleased to negotiate for an international settlement. 


The year 1879 has been marked by some striking contrasts 
with the preceding twelve months. During the great part 
of 1878 this country was formally at peace with all the world, 
yet public interest was concentrated upon external policy. In 
1879, though we have been engaged in most serious and 
diflScult military undertakings, chequered by disasters, it is 
nevertheless certain that domestic affairs have reconquered the 
attention of the people. The Parliamentary session, it is true, 
has been barren, but its very sterility has provoked discussion. 
The perennial Irish difficulty has once more presented itself 
in ever varying forms. There has been an extraordinary revival 
of party spirit, and, although Government has the power of 
retaining the present Parliament for more than a year to come, 
the oratorical campaign of the autumn has been prosecuted on 
both sides with a vigour unparalleled since the general election 
of 1868. The gravest apprehensions were aroused by the pre- 
valence of a depression in British agriculture such as had not 
been witnessed since the close of the Napoleonic war. Trade 
and industry in the early months of 1879 were suffering hardly 
less severely, and though a revival began in the autumn, its 
progress has been slow. 

On the Continent peace has been preserved, but the ground- 
swell of former agitations is still heaving. International 
rivalries are at work, sometimes threatening established settle- 
ments, and sometimes forming new defensive combinations. 
Governments, conscious of the enormous risks of war, are for 
the most part labouring to restrain the restlessness of nations, 
which seems to be stimulated rather than chastened by financial 
difficulties and commercial troubles. Nevertheless, there are 


signs of tlie growth of confidence, and the causes of alarm which 
remain are both less serious and less numerous than they were 
twelve months ago. 

At the close of last year the commercial and industrial in- 
terests of the country had not begun to emerge from the 
stagnation in which they had been sunk since 1874. No- 
where among our great manufactures were there signs of 
returning prosperity, and in few cases even was there matter 
for hopefulness. Strikes were still frequent, though less 
determined, if not less embittered, than in recent years. The 
cotton, iron, and coal trades had all to suffer from the con- 
tentions of employers and employed. A startling and dis- 
quieting development of this struggle was witnessed in the 
strike of the goods guards on the Midland Eailway, followed 
by similar conflicts on the Great Northern and North-Eastem 
lines. In these strikes the working men had to succumb, as 
they had also in the contest challenged by the London engineers. 
A cessation of hostilities was witnessed when the intelligence 
of a decided business revival in the United States, following 
close upon the resumption of specie payments, began to engender 
a hope that the " hard times " were nearly over. 

During the spring and the summer commerce and industry 
remained in an attitude of expectation, and it was not until the 
autumn that any important change was apparent. The first 
branch of business a"ffected was the iron trade, in which there 
was a sudden upward movement during the last four months 
of the year. Other industries have begun to feel the same 
impulse, with results already perceptible. The process of 
recovery has been aided by some favouring conditions. Money 
has been cheap and plentiful. The sharp warning given by 
the bank failures and other commercial disasters of 1878 held 
imprudent speculation in check. The bank rate of discount 
during the greater part of the year stood at 2 per cent. Not 
less advantage was derived from the low prices of all food 
supplies. The deficiency of the harvest at home was counter- 
balanced by large importations of corn, cattle, dead meat, pre- 
served provisions, and dairy produce. 

Agriculture, however, has suffered by the development of 
trade which has thus profited industry. At the beginning of 
the year the complaints of the farmers were already loud, and 
the fall of rentals engaged the attention of landowners. Changes 


in the land laws, measures for encountering foreign competition, 
and other remedial projects were energetically discussed. The 
subject was brought immediately and prominently forward in 
Parliament. In March Mr. Samuelson unsuccessfully asked 
the House of Commons to appoint a Select Committee to 
inquire into the conditions of agricultural tenancies in England 
and Wales ; but some two months later Mr. Chaplin obtained 
the assent of the House and the Government to a more com- 
prehensive resolution for the appointment of a Koyal Com- 
mission. The Commissioners nominated by the Crown, 
including the Dukes of Richmond and Buccleuch, Lord 
Spencer, Mr. Goschen, Mr. Chaplin, Mr. Mitchell Henry, 
Professor Bonamy Price, and a dozen other representatives of 
various interests connected with agriculture, not only in 
England, but in Ireland and Scotland, are charged to inquire 
into " the depressed condition of the agricultural interest and 
the causes to which it is owing, whether those causes are of a 
temporary or permanent character, and how far they have been 
created or can be remedied by legislation." This vast task has 
been divided for practical purposes, and sub-commissioners are 
to report upon the state of foreign agriculture. 

Mr. Clare Eead and Mr. Pell have already completed their 
survey of the United States and Canada. 

While awaiting the result of these elaborate investigations 
there has been much desultory discussion of remedial schemes. 
A few irresponsible members of the Conservative party have 
shown a disposition to advocate a return to protection under 
the thin disguise of reciprocity, but the notion has been generally 
repudiated. An attempt was made to fix upon some ambiguous 
expressions in Lord Salisbury's speech at Manchester a meaning 
unfavourable to free trade, but a sufficient answer to this charge 
has since been given. It ought to be remembered also that 
Lord Beaconsfield himself, who, if any one, might be suspected 
of a lingering sympathy with schemes for protecting the British 
farmer against foreign competition, repelled the advances of 
the Duke of Rutland and Lord Bateman during the session in 
the clearest and most conclusive terms. The Ministry is 
solemnly pledged to do nothing which will restrict free imports, 
and the majority even of the farmers approve that policy. 
Among the Opposition the reform of the land laws is the chief 
subject of discussion, but there is as yet no approach to agree- 


ment either as to the character of the precise changes to be 
proposed or as to their probable effect on the position of the 
tenant farmer. Lord Hartington's declaration that some modi- 
fications of the law were desirable derived more importance than 
perhaps it deserved from the Premier's criticisms upon it, first 
at the Mansion House in July last and afterwards at Aylesbury 
in September. 

Unfortunately, the fact that British agriculture is depressed 
may be accepted as proved without waiting for the report of 
the Royal Commissioners. During the Cattle Show week at 
many meetings of the farmers the most dismal forebodings were 
entertained. The Duke of Richmond has lately expressed a 
hope that the worst is nearly over, but he admitted that if the 
depression continued, " there must be a general reconsideration 
a,nd revision of the rental of the country." It is hardly prob- 
able that the coming year will be as adverse to the farmer in 
respect of climatic influences as that which closes to-day. Last 
winter was remarkable for severe and protracted frosts, followed 
by bitter east winds, by chilling persistent rain, and dismally 
clouded skies. The temperature and the duration of sunshine 
were both far below the average, while the rainfall exceeded 
the average by nearly one-third. While the climate has thus 
been cruel to the corn-growing farmer the competition from 
abroad, and chiefly from the United States, pressed hard upon 
him, as well as on the breeder of cattle and the producer of 
butter and cheese. The price of wheat and, still more, the 
prices of laeat, live beasts, dairy produce, and provisions were 
brought down by unprecedented importations. 

When such has been the state of affairs at home, it would 
have been singular if the English people had shown any pre- 
ference for an aggressive and adventurous policy, or if a Govern- 
ment which must at no distant date appeal to the country 
had become chargeable with needlessly disturbing our foreign 
relations. But events proved too strong for the best intentions. 
Parliament had met for a couple of weeks before Christmas, 
and when the year opened the session had been suspended. 
The Afghan war appeared to be practically over, Shere Ali 
had fled for refuge towards Russian Turkestan, leaving Yakoob 
Khan in nominal command at CabuL Candahar was occupied 
without serious difficulty by General Stewart. It was believed 
that Yakoob Khan would soon come to terms, but a long period 


of suspense ensued, in wliich the policy of the Government 
remained obscure. 

Lord Beaconsfield, upon the reassembling of Parliament in 
February, had declared that the objects for which we had gone 
to war were accomplished, that we were in possession of the 
three main highways between Afghanistan and India, and that 
our Empire was thus secured against any possible attack. In the 
meantime Shere Ali died on the borders of Balkh, and what- 
ever doubts might have remained as to the title of Yakoob 
Khan were removed. But still the negotiations for peace 
seemed to make no progress. A portion of General Browne's 
column was marched to Gandamak, half-way between Jellalabad 
and Cabul, but not, as it turned out, with any view to a re- 
newal of the war. Yakoob Khan presented himself in the 
British camp, and, after some perplexing and tedious diplomatic 
interviews with Major Cavagnari, accepted a treaty of peace 
which was signed at Gandamak on the 25th of May. Our 
relations with Afghanistan had meanwhile escaped Parliamentary 
criticism, except that the Duke of Argyll indemnified himself 
for his absence in December by an elaborate indictment of 
Anglo-Indian policy. The Treaty of Gandamak was not 
formally impeached by the Opposition until the last day of the 
session, when Mr. Grant Duff reviewed it in a denunciatory 
rather than critical speech. The frontier previously marked 
out was ceded, minimising the territory to be annexed and 
leaving the Afghans all their principal towns. 

No doubts were entertained of the good faith of Yakoob 
Khan's submission, which appeared to be confirmed when Sir 
Louis Cavagnari was received by the Ameer as British Envoy 
with more than formal honours. But on the 3rd of September 
some regiments of the Ameer's army revolted, and attacked 
the Eesidency, killing the Envoy with his suite and escort. 
Orders were at once given for an advance upon Cabul, when 
Yakoob Khan sent piteous accounts of his innocence and his 
powerlessness. Difficulties of transport and commissariat, 
however, caused delay. It was determined that General Sir 
Frederick Eoberts should advance upon Cabul by the.Kuram 
valley, and the work was promptly and successfully accomplished. 
The Shutargardan Pass was forced by a daring coup de main ; 
the threatened rising of the hill tribes did not occur ; Cabul 
was reported to be in a state of confusion, and in Herat there 


was a wild fanatical outbreak. The Ameer once more sought 
refuge in the British camp. General Roberts marched straight 
upon the city, and after some sharp fighting with the Afghan 
mutineers he entered the Bala Hissar on the 12 th of October. 
It appeared from a complete disclosure of the facts that Yakoob 
Khan could not be acquitted of bad faith or incompetence, and 
it was announced in a proclamation from General Roberts that 
the Ameer had abdicated, and that the future government of 
the country would be settled after the restoration of order and 
with the advice of the Sirdars. The Shutargardan route was 
temporarily abandoned, partly in consequence of the weather, 
partly owing to the restlessness of the hill tribes. But com- 
munication with India was once more opened up through the 
Khyber. The General, no doubt, ruled with a strong hand. 

Yakoob Khan was deported to Peshawur. The disarma- 
ment of the population was energetically enforced. An 
attempted junction of the rebel tribes and mutinous soldiery, 
who had lately shown a reviving spirit, was struck at by a com- 
bined movement, which, unfortunately, failed. A portion of 
our forces met with a sharp check, and though this was to 
some extent retrieved by successes immediately obtained over 
the enemy, the situation appeared so grave that on the 15th 
of December Sir Frederick Roberts deemed it expedient to con- 
centrate his forces in the Sherpur cantonment outside Cabul. 
The communications were presently interrupted, and for some 
days the most painful anxieties prevailed. But Sir Frederick 
Roberts held his ground without flinching ; General Gough 
advanced to his relief promptly, while reinforcements were 
sent up from the rear ; an Afghan attack on the British lines 
was repulsed a day or two before Christmas, and when a 
junction with Gough's forces had been effected Cabul was 

The Zulu war had not actually begun at the opening of the 
year, but the prospect of preserving peace was then rapidly 
vanishing. Sir Bartle Frere had sent an ultimatum to the 
Zulu King, calling upon him to make reparation for certain 
alleged outrages on British subjects, to disband his formidable 
army, to abandon his Spartan system of government, and to 
accept a British Resident. Cetywayo returned no answer, 
and on the 11th of January the term of grace allowed by 
Lord Chelmsford, the Commander-in-Chief, having expired. 


13,000 British troops entered Zululand. The plan was that 
four columns should converge upon the King's Kraal at Ulundi 
— one in the east, advancing by the coast-line, under Colonel 
Pearson ; one in the west, advancing from Utrecht under Colonel 
Wood ; and two, soon afterwards united, crossing the Tugela 
in its mid -course, under Colonels Glyn and Durnford and 
accompanied by Lord Chelmsford in person. The Tugela 
was crossed successfully, and the Zulus seemed likely to make 
little resistance. 

The invading force was tempted into deplorable incaution, 
and on the 22nd, ten days after the first shot was fired, a 
military disaster without precedent in our recent annals 
paralysed the invasion and placed the army and the colonies 
upon the defensive. Lord Chelmsford had divided Colonel 
Glyn's column, leaving Colonel PuUeine with one battalion of 
the 24th Regiment and some colonial levies to encamp at 
Isandlana, and there to be joined by Colonel Durnford with 
his native troops, while the General himself marched forward 
tentatively with the rest of the column. The Zulus came 
up in immense numbers, and while Lord Chelmsford remained 
in ignorance that any engagement was taking place, they 
enticed Colonel Durnford out of his position. When the rout 
of the native auxiliaries had spread confusion through the 
British ranks, the enemy poured headlong into the camp, which 
had not been intrenched or even "laagered," and slaughtered 
almost the whole of the regular troops, with great numbers 
of the colonists and natives. The Zulus attempted to follow 
up their victory, and would, perhaps, have succeeded in cutting 
off Lord Chelmsford's retreat and in making a raid into Natal 
had they not been checked by the brilliant defence of the 
improvised fortifications at Rorke's Drift This gallant feat of 
arms, which justly won the Victoria Cross for Major Chard 
and Major Bromhead, then only lieutenants, somewhat dashed 
the hopes of the Zulus and restored confidence to the British. 
But the weight of anxiety was heavy even when Lord Chelms- 
ford had recrossed the Tugela and had concentrated all his 
forces for the defence of the colony. Colonel Pearson's com- 
munications were cut, and he stood on the defensive at Ekowe, 
at a considerable distance from the Natal border and from the 
sea. It was impossible to think of relieving the little garrison 
until reinforcements arrived, for the invasion of the colony by 


the Zulus, a rising of the native population, and a revolt of 
the Boers all seemed for the moment possible. 

Unfortunately, the absence of telegraphic communication 
with the Cape occasioned delay, and for several weeks both 
at home and in South Africa there was a succession of alarms. 
Lord Chelmsford, however, set to work vigorously at the re- 
organisation of offensive and defensive forces. Troops arrived 
opportunely from the Mauritius, and transports were at once 
despatched from home. The panic in the colonies subsided as 
it was seen that the Zulus did not contemplate instant invasion, 
but concentrated their attacks upon Colonel Pearson's force at 
Ekowe and Colonel "Wood's in the west. At the end of March 
Colonel Wood's camp at Kambula Kop was assaulted, and 
though the Zulus were repulsed with loss, their renewed energy 
was disquieting. Early in April, Lord Chelmsford, though 
inadequately reinforced, resolved to make a movement for 
Colonel Pearson's relie£ Crossing the Tugela he defeated 
the Zulus at Ginghilova, setting free the beleaguered garrison 
of Ekowe. But it was still thought inexpedient to resume 
the offensive against Cetywayo. Kumours of agitations among 
the Pondos were rife, and the troops of the Cape Colony were 
repulsed in an attack upon the rebel Basuto Chief Moirosi. 

Meanwhile the Government had sustained repeated attacks 
on the ground of their South African policy. Sir Michael 
Hicks-Beach had severely rebuked the impatient and insub- 
ordinate manner in which Sir Bartle Frere had ventured to 
give effect to his own convictions, but the Ministry had not 
yielded to the demand for his removal or to the clamour 
directed against Lord Chelmsford. The debates, however, on 
the resolutions of censure moved by Lord Lansdowne in the 
Upper House and by Sir Charles Dilke in the Lower, showed 
that the Ministerial majority was somewhat shaken, and the 
confusion introduced into the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 
calculations by the increasing war charges was attacked by 
the Opposition. At the end of May it was announced that 
Sir Garnet Wolseley had been appointed the Queen's High 
Commissioner for Natal, the Transvaal, and the neighbouring 
countries Sir Bartle Frere remained Governor and High 
Commissioner for the Cape, and Lord Chelmsford was not 
superseded, although the supreme command, as a matter of 
course, fell to Sir Garnet Wolseley. Before Sir Garnet 


Wolseley, however, had reached Natal Lord Chelmsford had 
not only prepared, but actually accomplished, the long- 
promised advance upon Ulundi. Two columns under General 
Newdigate and General (previously known as Colonel) Wood 
closed steadily upon the Zulu army, which had been collected 
to defend Cetywayo's kraal, and completely crushed it. Sir 
Garnet Wolseley immediately and cordially acknowledged that 
the war was now practically at an end. Lord Chelmsford, Sir 
Evelyn Wood, and many other officers of distinction now 
returned from South Africa, and were welcomed with national 
enthusiasm, as well as with public honours and rewards. The 
Imperial troops were gradually sent home. 

Cetywayo fled into the bush, and it was predicted in some 
quarters that the war would be indefinitely prolonged. But 
the spirit and the organisation of the Zulus were broken. 
Chief after chief submitted, and on the 28 th of August 
Cetywayo was captured. The King, who met his fate with 
much dignity, has been retained as a state prisoner in the 
Cape Colony. The terms of peace off'ered by Sir Garnet 
Wolseley were accepted by the chiefs and the people. Zulu- 
land is to be organised henceforward in thirteen separate 
Governments, with a British Kesident exercising control over 
all, while native laws and customs are to be respected and 
European immigration is forbidden. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley was now able to take in hand the 
other pressing problems of South African policy. Secocoeni 
had defied the Government before war was declared against 
the Zulus, and his subjugation was the indispensable corollary 
of all that had been achieved. The attitude of the Transvaal 
Boers was equally embarrassing. They had maintained what 
might be called a malevolent neutrality during the campaign 
against Cetywayo, but they had declared to Sir Bartle Frere 
their resolution not to accept annexation. Sir Garnet Wolseley, 
however, took an early opportunity of admonishing the Boers, 
on his visit to Pretoria after the conclusion of peace, that the 
annexation was an irreversible act. The agitation, nevertheless, 
did not abate, and the authority of the Government in judicial 
and fiscal matters was openly defied. But it does not appear 
that the spirit of resistance will carry the Boers far. Its most 
serious effect was the encouragement given to Secocoeni. The 
strongholds of this chief, who defeated the Transvaal Govern- 


ment in 1876, were beleaguered by Sir Garnet Wolseley's forces, 
and finally stormed, early in December, Secocoeni himself 
being among the prisoners. A similar fate had previously 
befallen Moirosi, an insurgent leader of the Basutos on the 
banks of the Orange river, who, earlier in the year, had 
successfully defied the Cape Government. The Basutos were 
reduced to submission in November by the Colonial Volunteers, 
and Moirosi was killed in the storming of his kraal. 

In other parts of South Africa, as the year drew to a close, 
the natives were at peace. The Zulu campaign and the defeats 
of Secocoeni and Moirosi have taught them lessons which even 
the most barbarous tribes must appreciate. At the Cape the 
organisation of local defensive measures is making satisfactory 
progress, and the establishment of immediate telegraphic com- 
munication between England and Natal by a cable from Durban 
to Mozambique, Zanzibar, and Aden, where it joins the Eastern 
Telegraph Company's main line, will remove one of the gravest 
dangers to our dominion in South Africa. 

The effort to concentrate public attention, in Parliament and 
elsewhere, upon domestic business was not very successful. 
The Afghan and Zulu wars, the execution of the Treaty of 
Berlin, and the relations of this country with the Governments 
of Turkey and Egypt formed the ground on which the Opposi- 
tion found it most convenient to wage a desultory warfare. 
Legislation made little progress. If the Ministry was apparently 
wanting in energy, its opponents did not display greater spirit 
and resolution. There was, in fact, no unmistakable demand 
in any quarter for changes in the law. The shadow of the 
approaching dissolution hung heavily over the political world. 
Unconsciously, perhaps, all public men shaped their acts and 
declarations with reference to the coming conflict. The 
Opposition, encouraged by the financial and other embarrass- 
ments of the Government, multiplied its attacks and grew bolder 
in its challenges. The Ministerial majority was undiminished, 
but it seemed to be less effectual than much smaller majorities 
have often been for expediting Parliamentary business. 

It is true that at no former time have the Ministers of the 
Crown had to contend with such difficulties as those created 
by the Irish Home Rule Obstructionists. Mr. Pamell, his 
followers and his imitators, brought to perfection during the 
session of 1879 their peculiar strategy. The House of 


Commons has spent a great deal of time on the consideration 
of the question whether something may not be done to curb 
or punish deliberate attacks upon the credit and efficiency of 
Parliament, but as yet without result. The Obstructionists 
have been able for the first time to count upon the co-operation 
of a section of the English and Scotch members, probably in 
view of the general election. The adhesion of the Irish vote 
in some of the large towns of England and Scotland had be- 
come a matter of pressing concernment to many politicians, 
and Mr. Parnell, it was believed, could turn the scale in several 

The success of Parliamentary obstruction, however, had 
produced a revulsion of feeling among the majority in the 
House of Commons, while it gave a blow to the union of the 
Home Rule party. Mr. Butt, whose health had been declining 
for many months, did not return to his place in Parliament 
after the Christmas vacation. His authority was openly defied 
by the "active" party, and his popularity in Ireland had 
almost vanished when he died early in May last. The power 
which the Home Rule leader had once wielded was even then 
passing into the hands of more violent politicians, but the 
majority of the " Irish Parliamentary party " was still composed 
of men having some regard for moderation, and Mr. Shaw, M.P. 
for the county of Cork, was elected as Mr. Butt's successor to 
the leadership in the House of Commons. Mr. Shaw, with 
most of his followers, held aloof from and discountenanced the 
proceedings of the Obstructionists during the debates upon the 
Army Regulation Bill and other Government business, and his 
prudence may have conduced to the large concessions which the 
Ministry made to the Irish demands in the University Education 

At the opening of the session Sir Stafford Northcote and 
Mr. Lowther had declared that it was not the intention of the 
Government to introduce any measure dealing with the Irish 
University system, and it was understood that during some 
informal negotiations in Dublin the Roman Catholic prelates 
had put forward impracticable demands. The O'Conor Don, 
however, having introduced a Bill which, though objectionable 
for many reasons to both parties, fell short of the extreme 
pretensions of the hierarchy, a Ministerial measure was announced, 
which proposed to substitute an examining Board for the Queen's 


University. The Bill was condemned as inadequate by the 
leaders of the Opposition in the House of Lords, and when it 
reached the Lower House modifications were introduced, making 
it a scheme of academic endowment, with the prospect of future 
extension. It was carried with the co-operation of Mr. Shaw 
and his followers, and with the approval of the front Opposition 
bench. It seems, however, to have had as yet little effect in 
conciliating Irish opinion. 

During the last few months Mr. Parnell has been more 
conspicuous than ever. On his return to Ireland he con- 
spicuously failed in an attempt to reorganise the Home Rule 
policy through a Convention, which, it was anticipated, would 
compel the moderate section of the party to submit to the 
irreconcilable enemies of the English connection. An attempt 
to stir up an agrarian agitation met with more success. The 
demand of the Irish tenant-farmers for fixity of tenure had 
been previously put forward by Mr. Butt, Mr. Shaw, and other 
Home Rule members, but Mr. Parnell took different ground. 
The farmers of Ireland had suffered less than those of England 
and Scotland from the inclement weather and the disappointing 
harvest, but in many districts, where the population was steeped 
in poverty, where the potato crop had failed, and where the 
peat had been saturated by the incessant rains, distress was 
clearly to be looked for in the winter. This was seized upon 
as a pretext for demanding a general reduction of rents, and 
large crowds gathered to hear Mr. Parnell and his lieutenants 
denounce landlordism and recommend a simple plan of meeting 
the emergency. Mr. Parnell was persistent in his counsel, 
which was that the tenants should pay no rent whatever, unless 
they were granted a " fair " reduction, and that while so refus- 
ing to pay they should keep a " firm grip " of the land. It 
was feared that if rents were thus held back, even in districts 
where no distress prevailed, any attempts to evict tenants for 
non-payment would bring the masses, stimulated and inflamed 
by agitation, into conflict with the law. 

Upon the whole, however, the result has been less alarming 
than might have been anticipated. Some of the subordinate 
agitators, following Mr. Parnell, though with less skill in 
avoiding a direct breach of the law, used language at meetings 
in the west of Ireland which induced the Government to 
arrest them and indict them on a charge of sedition. Whether 


convictions can be obtained or not, the immediate effect of these 
proceedings has been to produce a notable diminution in the 
violence of the agitation. It is acknowledged, however, that 
the sufferings of the peasants in the West are likely to be 
severe during the coming winter. The Duchess of Marlborough 
has invited the British public to subscribe for the relief of the 
destitute peasantry, with guarantees for the prudence of the 
aid bestowed, and with testimony, which will not be contested, 
that help is sorely needed. 

While Ireland was stirred by an agrarian agitation. Great 
Britain was the scene of a determined and passionate political 
campaign. No sooner had Parliament been prorogued than 
the rival parties opened fire upon each other. Mr. Gladstone, 
three days after the prorogation, attacked the Government at 
Chester, and Sir Charles Dilke at Chelsea. Mr. Goschen 
followed on the same side at Ripon. At the Sheffield Cutlers' 
Feast Lord George Hamilton and Mr. Stanhope replied to these 
criticisms. Lord Hartington in Radnorshire and Mr. Grant 
Duff in Elgin renewed the skirmishing. In the midst of the 
dismay caused by the news of the British Envoy's murder in 
Cabul, Lord Beaconsfield surprised the country at Aylesbury 
by studiously ignoring foreign affairs. The battle was renewed 
with heavier metal as the autumn wore on. Lord Hartington 
delivered two important speeches at Newcastle in September, 
and Sir William Harcourt assailed the Government in his 
happiest vein at Southport and Liverpool. The Home 
Secretary retorted at Leigh and Clitheroe. Mr. Childers 
made a rejoinder at Pontefract. At the close of October Lord 
Salisbury visited Manchester with Mr. Cross and Colonel 
Stanley, and received an enthusiastic reception, which, how- 
ever, was fully equalled, if not outdone, by the welcome given 
a week later in the same city to Lord Hartington and Mr. 

These oratorical displays seem to have been mainly intended 
to discipline the fighting powers of partisans and to rouse the 
political spirit of the constituencies. Rarely was any new 
argument adduced either in denunciation or in defence of the 
Government. The criticism of Turkish and Indian affairs, 
which had been exhausted in Parliament, was again paraded on 
both, sides, but, as was, indeed, inevitable, the financial results 
of the Ministerial policy were censured with increasing severity. 


The Prime Minister's speech at the Guildhall on Lord Mayor's 
Day had been anticipated with general curiosity, as likely to 
contain some interesting references to the Ministerial policy and 
the relations of the Empire. But Lord Beaconsfield was more 
than usually reserved. He spoke with ominous mystery of 
the state of Europe, "covered with armed millions of men," 
and would only express a qualified hope of the maintenance of 
peace. He enjoined Englishmen to hold fast by the motto, 
Imperium et LibertaSj and pointed out the manifold perils of 
an "insular policy." He, as well as the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, rejoiced in the improvement of trade, and was 
hopeful that financial embarrassments would soon disappear. 

The Opposition, which professed to desire an immediate 
dissolution, exulted in what they proclaimed to be a proof 
that the Ministry was afraid to face the country, and asserted, 
with some appearance of reason, that the municipal elections 
of November showed a change in popular feeling. Mr. Lowe 
at Grantham assailed the Ministry with peculiar bitterness. At a 
great Liberal demonstration at Leeds the Duke of Argyll went 
still further ; and though the effect of his speech was mitigated 
by Mr. Forster's more moderate and impressive statement of 
Liberal views, the heat of the strife grew visibly more intense. 

The crowning episode of this protracted party warfare was 
Mr. Gladstone's extraordinary campaign in Scotland, which 
began in the last week of November, and lasted, almost without 
a day's intermission, for an entire fortnight. At the beginning 
of the year Mr. Gladstone had been invited to become the 
Liberal candidate for Midlothian, a constituency traditionally 
subject to the Conservative influence of the ducal house of 
Buccleuch. This resolution of the former leader of the Liberal 
party to attack a hostile stronghold was welcomed by a section 
of the Opposition,- and as a succession of oratorical tours de 
force his performances in Scotland have never been surpassed. 
During the first week he reviewed for the Midlothian electors 
the whole field of politics, domestic, foreign, financial, ecclesi- 
astical, and local, in a series of elaborate speeches quickened 
with a peculiar glow of personal ardour. Quitting Edinburgh, 
he carried the fiery cross northwards into Perthshire, and again 
returning to the south-west, he delivered his Rectorial address 
— as a mere interlude in graver labours — before the University 
of Glasgow, instantly resuming the political controversy, and 


sustaining it all the way home through Scotland and the north 
of England as far as Chester. Whatever may be the permanent 
value of Mr. Gladstone's criticisms, it is certain that while he 
thus plunged into the fray he attracted the gaze of friends 
and foes alike. When he retired the strife once more languished. 
It was scarcely revived by a Conservative demonstration at 
Leeds just before Christmas, in which Sir Stafford Northcote 
defended his financial policy and vindicated the measures of 
the Government at home and abroad. 

The effect upon public opinion of this clash of argumentation 
was not clear. The evidence of such contests as that for the 
vacancy in the representation of Sheffield, created by Mr. 
Roebuck's death, was keenly scanned and canvassed. The 
most vulnerable point in the Ministerial policy was finance. 
It was not possible to ignore, though it might be easy to 
excuse, the fact that Sir Stafford Northcote's budget calcula- 
tions during the past two years have been signally deranged 
by events. In April last the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
having once more to deal with a large floating debt, determined 
merely to renew his bills, and to postpone for twelve months 
longer any permanent arrangement for meeting those obliga- 
tions. The country was then suffering from commercial, 
industrial, and agricultural depression, and it was not deemed 
advisable to make any addition to the burdens of direct or 
indirect taxation. Sir Stafford Northcote assumed that before 
the close of the year there would be a business revival at home, 
and that the political sky would clear abroad. On these 
assumptions he deferred payment of £5,350,000, to which, at 
the end of the session, he was compelled to add Xl, 163, 000 
for the estimated extraordinary expenditure in South Africa 
up to that date. But the South African expenditure has been 
going on ever since, though no doubt at a reduced rate, and the 
renewal of troubles in Afghanistan must impose some immediate, 
if not permanent, charges upon the Imperial Treasury. The 
agricultural depression has become more serious, and the 
improvement in various branches of trade has not yet had 
time to produce a favourable effect on the revenue receipts. 
Sir Stafford Northcote reckoned nine months ago that the 
revenue for 1879-80 would bring in almost precisely the sum 
received in 1878-79, but the returns for the first three quarters 
of the year will fall short, it is to be feared, of that reckoning 


by a considerable sum. It is to be noted that during 1879 
the price of Consols has been maintained at a high level, and 
that the market fluctuations have been confined within narrow 

The execution of the Treaty of Berlin was a principal subject 
of international preoccupation and controversy during the early 
part of the year. Predictions that the settlement could not 
be carried out or would immediately collapse were frequent 
and bold. Lord Duflferin, whose political tact had been tried 
and proved in Canada, was selected by the Government as 
Ambassador at the Russian Court. He was entertained on 
the eve of his departure by the Liberal party at the Reform 
Club, and it is probable that in Russia this was accepted as a 
warning that where national interests were at stake English 
politicians would not be separated by party distinctions. At 
Constantinople the Administration of Khaireddin Pasha con- 
tinued to promise reforms while pressing urgently for financial 
aid. The most critical points to be arranged were those involved 
in the reconstruction of government in the Balkan Peninsula 
under the terms of the treaty. A succession of alarms were 
raised, and one by one subsided. It was rumoured that the 
Bulgarian Assembly, which met at Tirnova early in the year, 
would choose some dangerous candidate as Prince, either Prince 
Dondoukoff Korsakoff, the Russian representative, or Prince 
Charles of Roumania, or Prince Nicholas of Montenegro. It 
was asserted that the people of Eastern Roumelia would never 
sanction the organisation of a separate Government from that 
of Bulgaria, and that, if no external force were applied when 
the Russian troops withdrew, there would be a popular rising 
and a defiance alike of Turkey and of Europe. It was pro- 
phesied that the evacuation of the occupied provinces would 
not be carried out by Russia, but that pretexts would be found 
for retaining Russian troops south of the Danube, if not south 
of the Balkans. 

In the attitude of the Turkish Government causes for 
apprehension were also discovered. The final treaty of peace 
with Russia would not, it was said, be signed, and war might 
break out afresh ; the convention securing to Austria the 
peaceable possession of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be 
refused ; the boundary dispute with Greece would be pro- 
longed and exacerbated. These fears were partially justified 


by the language of the agents of Russia, who, however, were 
disowned by Prince Gortchakoff. But looking back upon this 
group of controversies we can now see that the tangled skein 
has been very creditably unravelled. Scarcely one o£ the 
problems which seemed so grave ten or eleven months ago 
has by this time failed to find a solution. The panic with 
respect to a possible insurrection in Eastern Eoumelia on the 
withdrawal of the Russian troops led to a proposal for a "joint 
occupation" of the country, which was seriously entertained 
by the Great Powers. Germany, France, and Italy, how- 
ever, were unwilling to send contingents ; the acquiescence of 
the Sultan was doubtful ; and the scheme was accordingly 
abandoned. Aleko Pasha, a Bulgarian Greek in the Turkish 
service, was appointed by the Sultan Governor- General of 
Eastern Roumelia, with the International Commission as a 
council of advice, and a militia to keep order. Turkey, at 
the same time, agreed to postpone the garrisoning of the 
Balkans until the delimitation was completed. This plan was 
successfully set in action. In the meantime the Bulgarian 
Assembly elected Prince Alexander of Battenberg, a scion of 
the Ducal House of Hesse by a morganatic marriage, and a 
near kinsman of the Czar, as Sovereign of the Principality. 

The evacuation of the occupied provinces by Russia, though 
begun on the date fixed in the treaty, was not completed before 
the 3rd of August, twelve months after the exchange of ratifica- 
tions at Berlin. But for five months past there has been no 
disturbance of the peace in these regions. The separate 
Governments of East Roumelia and Bulgaria acquiesce in the 
decision of the Powers. The delimitation difficulties are being 
one by one removed, although neither Greece nor Montenegro 
has as yet obtained the territorial concessions which were pro- 
mised at Berlin. The resistance of Turkey to the claims of 
Greece, recognised as legitimate by one of the protocols of the 
treaty, led to a vehement demonstration of public opinion in 
France and to the strongest diplomatic intervention on the 
part of the French Government. In this country, also, the 
right of the Greeks to obtain peaceable possession of the 
territory promised in the protocol was generally conceded, and 
a powerful effect was produced by a public meeting in Willis's 
Rooms to demand the fulfilment of the pledge. 

France was at first inclined to suspect that in this matter 


England was playing an insincere part, but the suspicion, 
which was entirely groundless, wore away, and the whole 
influence of Europe for months past has been directed to 
promoting a peaceful settlement of the dispute, which at 
last appears to be near at hand. Unfortunately, the chances 
of bringing the Ottoman Government to a better sense of its 
own interests have not been improved by recent events at 
Constantinople. Khaireddin Pasha's Ministry carried Turkey 
through more than one grave crisis. The influence of the 
Grand Vizier was exerted to procure the ratification of the 
Austro-Turkish Convention, but he failed to give any effective 
impulse to reform, and he was opposed by many powerful 
Pashas, including Ghazi Osman, the hero of Plevna. A series 
of palace intrigues ended in the overthrow of Khaireddin at 
the end of July and the appointment of a Ministry presumed 
to be reactionary, in which Mahmoud Nedim, the most dis- 
trusted of Turkish politicians, was the ruling spirit. In 
November Sir Henry Layard was instructed to make an 
energetic representation to the Porte upon the subject of the 
reforms promised in the Anglo -Turkish Convention, and as 
the British fleet happened to be at the same time ordered into 
Turkish waters, though not, it would seem, for the purpose of 
coercing the Pashas, there was something like a panic in the 
Divan. Liberal promises were again made, and the appoint- 
ment of Baker Pasha to a mission of inquiry in Asia was 
accepted as an earnest of the Porte's sincerity. It is doubtful 
whether this appointment means anything, and still more 
whether it will be followed up by more substantial concessions. 

The settlement of the Eastern Question by the Treaty of 
Berlin led directly to an alliance between Austria and 
Germany, which, however, looks in all probability quite as 
much to eventualities in Western Europe as in the East. The 
certainty that such a rapprochement was at hand stimulated the 
Eussian Press to a violent attack upon German policy, which 
was as sharply answered at Berlin. Though the acerbity of 
the quarrel was tempered by personal compliments exchanged 
between the Emperor William and his nephew, the Czar, the 
Austro-German alliance was not less rapidly developed. Count 
Andrassy had determined, mainly for reasons connected with 
the state of his health, to retire from the administration of 
foreign affairs in Austria-Hungary after twelve years of con- 


tinuous service. The defeat of the Constitutional Liberals of 
the Cisleithan kingdom and the formation of a Ministry at 
Vienna under Count TaafFe, in which the reactionary, clerical, 
and separatist elements were strong, were naturally alarming 
to the Magyar adherents of the Dual Constitution ; but Count 
Andrassy's external policy, especially in respect of the Bosnian 
acquisition, was staunchly upheld. In maintaining this settle- 
ment Austria and Germany were at one. 

Count Andrassy early in the autumn paid a visit to the 
German Chancellor at Berlin, and Prince Bismarck in turn 
was received at Vienna with unusual attention. Long con- 
ferences took place between the Prince and the Austrian 
statesman. Count Andrassy, it was evident, had secured for 
his successor. Baron Hay merle, the confidence which he had 
himself long enjoyed at Berlin, and the alliance, although not 
embodied in formal documentary pledges, was accepted by 
Europe as a pregnant fact Its immediate effect has been 
to put an end to most of the sinister predictions which had 
been previously spent upon the results of the Berlin Treaty. 
Lord Salisbury hailed the announcement of the alliance as 
"glad tidings of great joy" in his Manchester speech, but it 
was criticised with bitterness in Kussia, in France, and in 
Italy. The policy carried out by Prince Bismarck seemed at 
once to throw Russian ambition back from the Balkan provinces, 
and to crush French hopes of recovering Alsace-Lorraine. 

Italy saw in the consolidation of German and Austrian 
interests a barrier against the advances of her more daring 
patriots upon the Southern Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria, and the 
Eastern shores of the Adriatic, It is true that Italian states- 
men of both parties have, in reply to a pamphlet published 
by an Austrian ofl&cer, repudiated the wild designs of the 
Italia Irredenta agitation. The weakness, however, of 
Parliamentary government in Italy renders it difficult to 
trust to the stability of any policy in that country. The 
Left stiU commands a great majority of the Chamber of 
Deputies at Rome, but it is divided and shaken by personal 
rivalries. During the present year, as in 1878, there have 
been recurrent Ministerial crises. The Depretis Cabinet was 
overthrown last summer after half a year's tenure of power, 
and was succeeded by a new combination of the Left under 
Signor Cairoli, who was compelled in November to reconstruct 


his Ministry and to bring in Signer Depretis as Minister of 
the Interior. 

The internal politics of Germany during the year were of 
as deep interest to foreign countries as to the Germans them- 
selvea The alienation of Prince Bismarck from the National 
Liberals had become notorious, and the probability of a 
Parliamentary alliance between the Conservatives and the 
Ultramontanes, on the basis of the Chancellor's political re- 
conciliation with the Vatican, was discussed. The Pope wrote 
in a moderate tone to the Archbishop of Cologne, lamenting 
the progress of Socialism, with a sympathetic reference to Prince 
Bismarck's anti-Socialist campaign. Meanwhile the Chancellor 
had committed himself to two enterprises, both opposed to 
Liberal principles and traditions. He had declared his con- 
version to protectionism and his determination to limit what 
he considered the licence of speech in Parliament. 

When the Reichstag met in February, the Speech from the 
throne, besides an announcement that Austria had agreed to 
abandon the treaty right under which the Danes claimed a 
plebiscite in North Schleswig, contained a denunciation of the 
free trade policy. The Liberal majority showed unexpected 
independence by refusing to permit the prosecution of two 
Socialist Deputies, and by throwing out the Maulkorhgesetz. 
But when the Tariff project was brought forward the alliance 
between the Chancellor and the Ultramontanes was disclosed. 
The National Liberals withdrew from their official positions in 
the Diet and in the Imperial and Prussian Ministries, and free 
trade was overthrown with little resistance. The resignation 
of Dr. Falk, the author of the " May Laws," and the appoint- 
ment as his successor of Herr von Puttkammer, a connection 
by marriage of Prince Bismarck and an opponent of mixed 
schools, encouraged the Ultramontanes. The Liberals were, 
in proportion, depressed, and at the elections to the Prussian 
Parliament in the autumn, when Prince Bismarck appealed to 
the electors to support him on grounds of personal confidence, 
the Conservatives and their new clerical allies triumphed. 
The National Liberals and the Progressists were left in a 
hopeless minority, Dr. Lasker and other prominent men 
losing their seats. When the Landtag met the Government 
brought forward a measure for the acquisition by the State 
of several of the private railway lines in Prussia, with a view 


to the ultimate extension of this policy throughout the Empire. 
The Clericals, however, dissatisfied with the concessions they 
had obtained, were not amenable to discipline, and the 
Chancellor took advantage of the opportunity to renew his 
connection with the Liberals, now in a very tame condition of 
spirit, and to carry the Railway Bill with their aid. 

Events in France have moved swiftly, but without any 
perilous shocks. The Senatorial elections at the beginning 
of the year gave the Republican party an effective working 
majority in the Upper Chamber. M. Dufaure's Cabinet was at 
once pressed to remove the most conspicuous Anti- Republicans 
among the Generals and officials. Marshal MacMahon refused 
to be a party to these measures, and, seeing that resistance 
was idle, resigned. The Chambers in joint session elected 
M. Grevy President by 563 votes against 99 given to General 
Chanzy. M. Gambetta was chosen in succession to M. Gr6vy 
as President of the Chamber of Deputies ; and M. Dufaure 
retired from the Ministry, leaving the Premiership to M. 
Waddington, whose sober and steady foreign policy had won 
him the respect of Europe. The retirement of M. de Marcere 
from the Ministry of the Interior before a Radical attack, 
the Amnesty agitation, and the proposal to impeach the De 
Broglie Administration for unconstitutional conduct raised 
difficulties through which the Waddington Administration 
steered a cautious course. More serious differences arose when 
M. Jules Ferry, the Minister of Public Instruction, brought 
forward his Education Bill, the seventh clause of which pro- 
hibited members of " unauthorised religious communities " 
(meaning especially the Jesuits) from teaching or managing 
schools. M. Ferry's Bill was carried by a large majority of 
the Chamber of Deputies, but in the Senate a strong party, 
including many moderate Republicans and led by M. Jules 
Simon, resisted the seventh clause. The measure, owing to 
this opposition, was postponed until after the Parliamentary 
recess, when the Chambers, in accordance with a vote of both 
Houses in joint session, taken in May, were to reassemble, 
not at Versailles, but at Paris. 

While these intestine struggles and some injudicious attempts 
to punish the Anti-Republicans for strong language used in the 
Press and in Parliament tended to damage the Ministry, the 
disorganisation of the Imperialist party caused by the death of 


Prince Louis Napoleon in South Africa and tlie succession of 
Prince Napoleon Jerome to the headship of the Bonaparte family 
visibly strengthened the Republic. The protests and the con- 
tentions of the various Imperialist cliques subsided in time, and 
Prince Napoleon Jerome appears to have accepted his position 
as a Pretender, subject to the restraints of a prudence in speech 
as well as in action with which he has not been always credited. 
During the autumn the Legitimists began a movement for 
reviving the pretensions of " Henri Cinq," the most conspicuous 
result of which was that M. Herv^, a leading Orleanist, publicly 
declared that " the fusion " was at an end, and that the Con- 
stitutional Monarchists could no longer follow the Comte de 

Radicalism was restless and urgent, as was shown early in 
the year by Blanqui's election at Bordeaux, afterwards annulled 
by the Chamber, by the reception given to the amnestied 
Communists, and by the return of one of these as a member 
of the Municipality of Paris. When the Chambers met the 
installation at the Luxembourg and the Palais Bourbon was 
marked by no excitement. The Government was called upon 
by the Left to prove its Republican character by vigorous 
measures. M. Waddington declared that no self-respecting 
Ministry could submit to adopt a programme dictated by a 
party association, and a vote of confidence rewarded his courage. 
But the crisis was only stifled for a few days. M. Le Royer, 
the Minister of, Justice, who had vigorously argued against the 
plenary amnesty, resigned, and the resignation of M. Waddington 
and the rest of his colleagues quickly followed. A new Cabinet 
has been formed by M. de Freycinet, lately Minister of Public 
Works and intimately associated with M. Gambetta's policy 
during the war, representing the Pure Left rather than the 
Left Centre. 

Spain, until within the last few weeks, was apparently quiet 
and prospering. The King was personally popular, and the 
national sympathy freely accorded to him in his family 
misfortunes was as cordially shown when it was announced 
that a marriage alliance had been arranged between Alfonso 
XII. and the Archduchess Maria Christina, a Princess of the 
House of Austria. After tedious delays and formalities, exacted 
by the strict etiquette of the Courts of Vienna and Madrid, the 
marriage was celebrated with great splendour in the Spanish 


capital at the end of November. Before the festivities were 
over a political crisis supervened. On the return of Marshal 
Martinez Campos from Cuba, where a pacification had been 
effected as much by promises of reform as by force of arms, 
Seiior Canovas del Castillo retired from the Premiership, and 
Marshal Campos became Prime Minister, accepting as his 
colleagues the principal associates of Senor Canovas. The 
skilful resistance of the latter delayed and defeated all the 
Marshal's free- trade and emancipation projects, so that on the 
reassembling of the Cortes in December he was compelled to 
resign. Senor Canovas has returned to power and begun to 
govern with a strong hand. The Parliamentary minority of 
Constitutional Liberals has withdrawn from the Cortes ; many 
Generals attached to Marshal Campos have resigned or been 
dismissed ; civil liberties have been temporarily suspended in 
Madrid, and there are fears that the insurrection in Cuba which 
has already broken out may again become formidable. 

In Belgium the Liberal Government is engaged in a conflict 
with the priesthood. The communal schools having been placed 
under restrictions as to religious teaching resembling those 
enforced in the National schools in Ireland, the hierarchy 
denounced the system, and gave orders that the Sacraments 
should be refused to the parents of any children attending 
such schools after the interdict. The Pope has discountenanced 
this violent policy, which appears to be practically a failure. 

The Russian polity has sustained during the year a succession 
of startling shocks. The excitement of military and diplomatic 
conflict having passed away, discontent was rapidly bred in 
Russia^ The financial disorders and the sense of national 
disappointment were perverted to their own ends by the 
Nihilist revolutionaries. General Drenteln, Chief of the 
Secret Police, was attacked by assassins, as his predecessors 
Generals Trepoff and Mesentzoff had been, and Prince 
Krapotkine, the Governor of Kharkoff, was murdered. Many 
other victims of less note perished in the ranks of the army 
and bureaucracy ; incendiary fires became common, and the 
revolutionists daringly proclaimed their intention of striking 
terror by these crimes into the hearts of their rulers. The 
indignation and the dismay of Russian society were completed 
in April last by a bold attempt upon the life of the Czar, in 
the Winter Garden at St. Petersburg, where a fanatic named 


Solovieff fired several shots from a revolver point-blank at 
Alexander II. Though the assassin missed his aim the panic 
following his attempt took the form of a "Terror." The 
capital was placed in a state of siege, liberty was for the 
moment abolished, and vehement appeals were made to the 
Governments of Europe to adopt such a law of extradition as 
would enable the Eussian police to hunt down the Eevolu- 
tionists in Switzerland and elsewhere. These extreme measures 
failed, as might have been expected ; and their rigour was 
soon relaxed. The Russian Government was believed to be 
contemplating some liberal concessions, when, on the 1st of 
December, as the Emperor was returning from Livadia, a 
mine was sprung upon a baggage train, mistaken for the 
train conveying the Imperial party, on the outskirts of Moscow. 
The deliberation and ferocity of this plot renewed the panic 
of last April, and as the year closes the future of Russia is 
wrapped in deep gloom. Count Schouvaloff, who lately retired 
from the Embassy in London, and has been since the outrage 
the guest of Prince Bismarck at Varzin, has been credited with 
a reform policy which may prevail and work for good. 

Hitherto there has been no success achieved by Russian 
diplomatists or soldiers to draw away attention from the 
gloomy prospect at home. The arrangements of the Treaty 
of Berlin have been carried out, in spite of the imprudent 
disparagement which Russian officials permitted themselves. 
Austria has been guaranteed the possession of Bosnia by the 
German alliance. The patronage which General Kaufmann 
was inclined to extend to Shere Ali at the beginning of the 
Afghan war has been disavowed and withdrawn. The revival 
of Chinese power in Central Asia shown in the conquest of 
Kashgar has led to the retrocession of Kuldja by Russia. The 
expedition against the Tekke Turcomans, which started in the 
summer from the Caucasus under General Lazareff, and, crossing 
the Caspian to Tchikishlar on the south-eastern coast with 
30,000 men, advanced in the direction of Merv, has been as 
unfortunate as similar adventures in former times. General 
Lomakine, who succeeded Lazareff on the latter's death, 
pushed on with some 1400 men, it is said, against the 
chief Turcoman stronghold, and vafter obstinate fighting was 
compelled to retreat, suffering heavy losses. 

The Egyptian difficulty forms a distinct chapter of the 


Eastern Question. The Ministry formed by Nubar Pasba 
at the close of last year, into which Mr. Kivers Wilson and 
M. de Blignieres had been admitted as representing the 
interests of the Western Powers, was overthrown in February 
by an ^meute which, the Khedive was suspected of fostering. 
A strong movement for intervention was originated in France 
by powerful financial bodies interested in the Egyptian Debt, 
and a joint representation of the French and English Govern- 
ments resulted in the apparent submission of Ismail Pasha and 
the formation of a new Cabinet under Prince Tewfik, the 
Khedive's heir, in which the European Ministers were to have 
a commanding voice. This arrangement lasted for a few weeks. 
In April the Khedive, declaring that the Ministerial measures 
were unjust to the bondholders and damaging to the public 
credit, dismissed his advisers. After some delay, due to the 
difficulty of inducing the Powers to agree as to the course to 
be pursued, and after Ismail Pasha bad turned a deaf ear to 
a suggestion of abdication urged upon him by the European 
Consuls-General, the Sultan, prompted by France and England, 
issued a firman deposing Ismail, and nominating Tewfik 
Khedive. Ismail Pasha retired to Naples, and, after vain 
attempts to assert his independence, Tewfik submitted. Mr. 
Baring and M. de Blignieres were appointed " Comptrollers- 
General," with power to supervise the whole financial system, 
and the interests wMch the Powers had interfered to protect 
have been, it is supposed, secured. An ominous difficulty, 
however, has arisen with Abyssinia, one result of which is 
that Gordon Pasha has been compelled to abandon his task 
of civilising the Soudan and suppressing the slave trade. 

Our Indian Empire during the past year was occupied with 
external questions, of which the Afghan war was, of course, 
the chief. At one time another war was believed to be 
impending upon the north-eastern frontier, where the young 
King of Burmah, Thebaw, rapidly developed all the worst 
vices of the despot, including insolence towards his neighbours 
as well as cruelty towards his subjects. Burmese troops were 
massed upon the borders of the British province, the language 
of the King became insulting, and the remonstrances which 
were urged by the Govern«ient of India against the horrors 
perpetrated by Thebaw were left unanswered. A cry for the 
annexation of Burmah was raised by the commercial community 


at Rangoon, but, like a similar cry raised by over -zealous 
oflScials and eager traders for the annexation of Cashmere, it 
was not heeded by Lord Lytton. The lamented death of Mr. 
Shaw, our Resident at Mandalay, was followed, when it 
appeared that Thebaw was inaccessible to reason, by the 
withdrawal of his successor, and finally by the removal of 
the Mission. The Burmese Court appears to have been taken 
aback by this measure, and the King has since tried to send 
envoys, who have not been received, to the Indian Government 
to protest that he never meant any harm. For the present, 
at least, all danger in this quarter has been removed. Within 
the Empire, though the war might be supposed to have given 
an opportunity for disloyal movements, tranquillity has prevailed. 
The masses have not been moved, apparently, by the grievances 
which agitate their English patrons, and the feudatory princes 
have displayed confidence in the strength and justice of the 
British cause. 

In the Bombay Presidency some alarming dacoit robberies, 
menaces of violence to ofiicials, and acts of incendiarism at 
Poona and elsewhere were found to be connected with the 
plots of a fanatical Mahratta, who has been recently brought 
to justice. The Rumpa disturbances in the Madras Presidency 
would have no doubt been as easily suppressed if they had not 
been weakly allowed to make head. It cannot be denied that 
the financial question has become very grave. Sir John 
Strachey was compelled to confess that losses by exchange 
and the demands of war rendered it impossible to set aside 
the promised famine insurance fund out of the new taxes. 
The home Government have since resolved that a strictly 
economical policy shall be carried out. Expenditure on 
public works has been greatly restricted ; a larger proportion 
of natives are to be employed in the Civil Service at lower 
salaries ; and a Commission has been appointed to inquire how 
far reductions in the army charges can be safely effected. 

The relations of the British colonies with the mother 
country have been actively discussed. In Canada, the 
Macdonald Ministry having advised the Governor - General 
to remove the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Quebec 
on the ground that he had unconstitutionally dismissed his 
local Ministers, the Marquis of Lome wished to refer the 
question to the home Government. His right to do so, upon 


a construction of the appointing clause in the Act of Union, 
was challenged by the Canadian Conservatives, and was not 
upheld by the Colonial Office. Sir John Macdonald and his 
colleagues accordingly dismissed M. Letellier, whose successor, 
M. Eobitaille, restored the local Conservatives to power in 
Quebec. The home Government also declined to interfere 
with the new Protectionist tariff of the Dominion, to which 
Mr. Bright called attention in the House of Commons. 

Acting on the same non-intervention principles. Sir Michael 
Hicks- Beach refused to promise a settlement by Imperial 
legislation of the reform question in Victoria, which Mr. Berry 
and Mr. Pearson, representing the Democratic Ministry at 
Melbourne, had come to England to advocate. The Secretary 
of State recommended the colonists to come to a compromise 
among themselves, though he hinted that if the Council rejected 
all reasonable proposals the difficulty might have to be terminated 
by extraordinary means. Mr. Berry's Reform Bill, brought 
forward in the autumn session, included the plebiscite and 
other objectionable provisions, and failed to obtain the support, 
as required by law, of an absolute majority even in the 
Assembly. It has, therefore, been abandoned, and an appeal 
to the constituencies is impending, which will turn in part 
upon the popular feeling with respect to the protective 

In New South Wales, and generally throughout the other 
Australian colonies, public attention has been absorbed by 
the Exhibition at Sydney, which has achieved a remarkable 
success. Sir George Grey's Administration in New Zealand, 
•shaken by the apparent danger of a Maori rising, and by a 
reaction against a Democratic policy as violent as Mr. Berry's, 
was defeated at the general election, and a new Ministry has 
been formed by Mr. Hall. In the Cape Colony the question 
of Confederation has been put aside by the Ministry, on the 
ground that peace must first be restored ; but the Colonial 
Office has expressed an opinion that the adoption of a defensive 
system for the whole of the South African colonies, and the 
liberation of the mother country from the burden of native 
wars, do not admit of further delay. 

The United States have enjoyed a year of unchequered good 
fortune, the more highly prized because it succeeded a long 
and dreary period of adversity. The return to specie payment 


on New Year's Day was effected without any of the difficulties 
which the Inflationists had predicted, and the good sense of 
the community promptly repressed the belligerent ardour of 
the politicians on both sides. The management of the Treasury 
by Mr. Sherman upon sound principles of finance showed results 
so encouraging in the refunding and repayment of debt and the 
reduction of the interest charge that it would have been palpably 
foolish to have altered his practice. The revival of trade was 
rapid ; the abounding prosperity of the agricultural classes, 
crowned by one of the richest harvests ever seen, stimulated 
manufacturing industry, and gave an impulse to railway enter- 

The Administration of President Hayes, however, made 
little progress in popular favour ; and the reform promises of 
its earlier years were practically abandoned. The errors of 
the Democrats were more flagrant ; they coquetted with every 
dangerous and disreputable movement, with the " Greenbackers," 
"the Champions of Labour," and the " BuU- dozers" of the 
South. Mr. Tilden, their recognised leader, fell in popular 
esteem as his conduct during the last Presidential campaign 
was disclosed, and his position was further weakened by the 
defeat of his party in New York State through the revolt of 
the Tammany Hall organisation, which controls the Democratic 
vote in the city. The Fall elections showed large Republican 
gains all through the North and West. 

Meanwhile General Grant, who had left England at the 
beginning of the year and had travelled through the Far 
East, returned to the United States by way of San Francisco. 
He was welcomed with extraordinary enthusiasm on the "Pacific 
Slope," in the Mississippi valley, and, finally, in the Atlantic 
States. The Republican party are apparently coming to the 
conclusion that General Grant can most effectually serve their 
cause by accepting another Presidential nomination. A 
massacre of officials and other whites upon one of the Indian 
reservations of the Far West has revived in a painful form a 
problem which embarrassed former Governments. 

The influence of the United States was vainly exerted to put 
an end to the war between the Republics on the Pacific coast 
of South America. A dispute concerning the nitrate deposits 
in the Atacama desert brought Chili into collision with Bolivia 
and Peru early in the year. The Chilians were successful at 



the outset. They obtained possession of the disputed territory, 
and so crippled the Peruvian navy that the famous Huascar 
was almost left alone to defend Peru upon the seas. This 
vessel, however, for a long time defied the whole Chilian fleet, 
paralysed Chilian commerce, and threatened the coast towns 
of Chili with a raid. At last she succumbed to superior forces, 
being destroyed in an engagement with a powerful Chilian 
squadron. Thenceforward the fortunes of Peru and Bolivia 
have rapidly declined ; Pisagua and Iquique, two of the chief 
Peruvian ports, have been captured by the combined land and 
sea forces of Chili ; and, though it is alleged a drawn battle 
has since been fought, the close of the struggle is plainly at 

On the continent of Europe the year has been as depressing 
as at home. The destruction of the Hungarian city of Szegedin 
by the overflowing of the river Theiss in March was paralleled 
by the ruinous floods which devastated south-eastern Spain in 
October. In parts of France and Germany the failure of the 
crops has caused widespread distress, attaining in Silesia to the 
height of a famine, for the alleviation of which the Government 
has been compelled to make extraordinary provision. All 
former railway accidents in this country have been outdone in 
horror by the ruin of the Tay Bridge and the destruction of a 
train crowded with passengers. The bursting of one of the 
38-ton guns on board the Thunderer was investigated by a 
Commission, which arrived at the conclusion, which did not 
escape criticism, that a double charge had been rammed down, 
and that this accident was the cause of the disaster. 

The army, however, rather than the navy, was productive 
of controversial topics. Lord Chelmsford's capacity as a 
commander was debated with extreme bitterness after Isand- 
lana; but it was subsequently recognised that his errors did 
not merit the impatient censure that had been heaped upon 
them. The Court -Martial upon Captain Carey for alleged 
cowardice and breach of duty in failing to rescue Prince 
Louis Bonaparte afforded another instance of hasty injustice, 
for which reparation had to be made in a calmer mood. The 
whole subject of our military organisation was brought forward 
for discussion in an article which appeared in our columns last 
summer, and which opened up a serious and still unsettled 


"We may record, in the social annals of the year, the 
marriage of the Duke of Connaught with the daughter of 
Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia and the Queen's visit to 
Baveno. Society has felt the adverse influences which are 
clearly marked in business ; nor did art and literature escape 
the prevailing depression. 

The Government, in accordance with a pledge obtained by 
Mr. Fawcett at the close of last session, has given notice of 
the introduction of a Bill for the purchase of the London 
Water Companies. The fourth London School Board was 
elected in November, after a sharp contest, turning mainly 
upon the question of economy, which resulted in the return 
of a majority favourable to the policy pursued by the Board 
during the past three years. Higher education in the North 
of England will be advanced, it is hoped, by the concession 
of a Royal Charter to the "Victoria University," which is to 
embrace Owens College, Manchester, and other provincial estab- 
lishments of the same class. 

The elevation of John Henry Newman to the Cardinalate 
and the reception of M. Eenan as an Academician are the 
most noticeable events in the ecclesiastical and literary annals 
of the year. 

Few law cases of permanent importance were tried in 1879. 
The directors of the City of Glasgow Bank were convicted in 
February of concocting or issuing fraudulent balance-sheets, 
and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment varying from 
eight months to fourteen months. More important, perhaps, 
was the decision of the House of Lords upon the liability of 
trustees holding bank stock. The conviction and execution 
of Peace for the Banner Cross murder and of Catherine 
Webster for the Richmond murder, the trial and acquittal of 
Hannah Dobbs for the Euston Square murder, and the 
subsequent prosecution of BastendorJff for perjury were among 
the causes c^lhhres of the year. 

Parliament interfered in some peculiar cases ; the capital 
sentence upon Mainwaring, who had been found guilty of 
murder by a jury which had decided the question by drawing 
lots, was commuted by Mr. Cross, who also granted a free 
pardon and a pecuniary compensation to Habron, an innocent 
man undergoing penal servitude for one of Peace's crimes. In 
the case of Galley, who, it was alleged, had been wrongfully 


convicted more than a generation ago, the Home Secretary's 
opinion was contradicted by a vote of the House of Commons. 
A Parliamentary question of some moment was determined in 
the case of Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, who was declared to have 
vacated his seat for the county of Clare by accepting office in 
the colony of Victoria. The exercise of the penal jurisdiction 
of the House of Commons in the case of Mr. Grissell and Mr. 
Ward, who had pretended to be able to influence the decision 
of a Private Bill Committee, may prove an important precedent. 

The death-roll of the year 1879 includes few names of the 
first rank in politics, literature, or art. One of the most 
painful incidents of the Zulu war was the death of Prince 
Louis Napoleon, the heir to the Imperialist aspirations of the 
Bonaparte family. The Prince Imperial, who had received 
his military education at Woolwich and had many friends in 
the British army, sought permission, which was, unfortunately, 
granted, to take part as a spectator in the South African 
campaign. On the 1st of June he was allowed to accompany 
a reconnoitring party with an ill- defined right of command. 
The Prince, Captain Carey, and eight troopers, were surprised 
by a large body of Zulus, and took to their horses. Unluckily, 
the ' Prince failed to mount in time, lost his horse, and fell, 
pierced by eighteen assegai wounds. His death was deeply 
lamented in England, and his funeral at Chislehurst was 
honoured by the presence of the Royal Family and of an 
immense concourse of persons in all ranks of society. 

Another personage whose death was of some political im- 
portance was the Prince of Orange, the heir -apparent to the 
throne of Holland, whose life in Paris had for many years 
estranged him from his family and his country. 

General Peel, who passed away in his eightieth year, had 
been a member of two Conservative Cabinets, and his sterling 
honesty and simplicity of character were proved by his retire- 
ment from office, and soon afterwards from political life, when 
he found himself unable to agree with Lord Derby's policy in 
1867. Lord Lawrence was a servant of the Indian Govern- 
ment who left his mark upon the history of the Empire. He 
reorganised the Punjab under British rule, and kept that 
province true to England during the Mutiny. He was one 
of the most zealous and laborious of Viceroys, although his 
policy received, perhaps, an unusual share of criticism. At 


home, although regarded as an authority on Eastern questions, 
he sought other fields of work, and in 1870 he became chairman 
of the first London School Board. In Mr. Koebuck the House 
of Commons has lost a characteristic figure ; his trenchant 
criticism of friends and foes will be missed in debate. Sir 
Eowland Hill, whose name will be always identified with 
the development of the postal system, passed away at a green 
old age. The Irish Home Rule party lost in Mr. Isaac Butt 
a leader of ability, geniality, and moderation, whose wasted 
career closed sadly amid wranglings and disappointments. 

Of others who died during the past twelve months may be 
mentioned Frances, Lady Waldegrave, a potent influence in 
the society of our day ; Sir John Shaw-Lefevre, sometime Clerk 
of Parliaments; Mr. J. T. Delane, for six -and -thirty years 
Editor-in-chief of the Times; Sir Antonio Panizzi, the chief 
librarian of the British Museum ; the Rev. Dr. M'Neile, Dean 
of Ripon, a pillar of the Evangelical party in the Church ; 
Baron Lionel de Rothschild, long M.P. for the city of London ; 
Sir Thomas Larcom, for many years Permanent Secretary to 
the Irish Government ; Mr. Hepworth Dixon, a brilliant and 
hard-working man of letters ; Mr. Keith Johnston, the African 
explorer, who was cut off in the midst of most fruitful and 
promising labours ; Mr. George Long, an eminent classical 
scholar ; Professor W. K. Clifford, a young but very able 
writer on mathematical and philosophical questions ; Mr. E. 
M. Ward, the well-known historical painter ; Mr. J. B. 
Buckstone, the comedian ; and Mr. Fechter, the tragedian. 

On the Continent there passed away Count von ' Roon, the 
real author of the present military organisation of Germany ; 
the aged Marshal Espartero, ex -Dictator of Spain ; and M. 
Michel Chevalier, the most resolute champion among modern 
Frenchmen of the free-trade cause. 

In the United States the loss must be recorded of Mr. Henry 
C. Carey, an economist best known as an advocate of Protec- 
tionism ; of Mr. Caleb Gushing, counsel for the American 
Government before the Geneva Tribunal ; and of William 
Lloyd Garrison, the Abolitionist. 


The year which comes to an end to-day will be memorable as 
opening a new chapter in our political annals. It was marked, 
indeed, by a decisive and promising revival of all branches of 
trade after an unprecedented period of depression, and by a 
harvest of moderate excellence, which, succeeding the worst 
season that the country had known for more than two genera- 
tions, was thankfully welcomed. But the transfer of power 
from the Conservative to the Liberal party, the change in the 
composition and the internal relations of the latter, and the new 
spirit and direction given in consequence to national policy at 
home and abroad, threw all other events into the shade. 

The situation in Ireland, which was formidable enough 
before the overthrow of Lord Beaconsfield's Government, assumed 
more startling proportions during the summer, and at the close 
of the year the Ministry have to encounter an outbreak of Irish 
lawlessness unparalleled in recent times. The Irish difficulty, 
indeed, does not stand alone. The foreign policy of Mr. Glad- 
stone's Government, though successful up to a certain point, has 
met with a check, and the possibility of compelling Turkey to 
comply with the demands of the great Powers by the pressure 
of the European concert is becoming doubtful. In Afghanistan 
there is still much to be achieved before the Imperial Govern- 
ment can be relieved from the duty of vigilant preparation, if 
not of active intervention. In South Africa we seem to be 
entering on a new heritage of perplexities and perils. 

The picture, however, is not without touches of light and 
hopefulness. Keviving trade and a fair harvest have restored a 
certain measure of elasticity to the revenue. There is ground 
for looking forward, when next year's Budget is produced in 


April, to the realisation of Mr. Gladstone's estimates last 
summer, and, perhaps, something more. The public credit of 
the country has never been more secure. Consols were at a 
high price all through the year, and in the last two months rose 
more than once above par, so that rumours became current of an 
intention on the part of Mr. Gladstone to effect a new refunding 
operation, and to reduce the annual burden of the debt by the 
issue of 2^ per cent stock. These conjectures were, at any 
rate, premature, but the fact that they were circulated and 
discussed is in itself a proof that a turning-point in the financial 
history of the world is near. The opportunity which the 
Americans are about to seize of issuing stock bearing no higher 
interest than British Consols, and the extraordinary success of 
the 3^ per cent loan placed upon the London market a few 
weeks ago by the Government of India point in the same 
direction. Capital has accumulated during years of hardship, 
anxiety, and thrift ; safe investments, since the collapse of so 
many foreign Government loans and American railways, are 
rarer than ever in comparison with the quantity of disposable 
money. It is certain that, unless some unexpected check occurs, 
there will be a new and irresistible outbreak of speculative 
adventure, the early stirrings of which are already felt through- 
out our commercial, industrial, and financial system. 

The approach of the seventh session of the Parliament elected 
in 1874 sharpened the passions of parties. Mr. Gladstone, 
indeed, did not renew his campaign against the Conservative 
Government in the interval between the Christmas vacation and 
the meeting of Parliament, but his place was filled by Sir 
William Harcourt and Mr. Bright, who satirised and denounced 
the Ministry with unremitting energy. The excitement culmin- 
ated in the election for Liverpool, which was decided on the 6 th 
of February, the day following the meeting of Parliament. The 
vacancy created by the death of Mr. Torr was vigorously con- 
tested by Mr. Whitley, a local Conservative, and Lord Ramsay, 
son of the Earl of Dalhousie, who was put forward on the 
Liberal side. The Irish voters of Liverpool refused to support 
Lord Ramsay if he did not pledge himself to vote for an inquiry 
into the demand for Home Rule. The pledge was given, but 
Lord Ramsay, in spite of his Irish allies, polled only 23,883 
votes against 26,106 recorded for Mr. Whitley. This success 
was followed up by a more unexpected Conservative victory in 


Soutliwark, where Mr. Jolm Locke's death had left a seat 
vacant. The Liberal vote was divided, a " Labour candidate " 
refusing to yield to the claims of the regular choice of the Two 
Hundred. But, as it turned out, Mr. Edward Clarke, the Con- 
servative candidate, polled more votes than both the Liberals 
together. These successes, together with the marked increase 
of the Conservative vote at Sheffield and Barnstaple, where 
Liberals were returned, doubtless encouraged Lord Beaconsfield's 
Government to hope that the approaching appeal to the country- 
would be in their favour. 

The vehement discussion of Irish affairs, both in and out of 
Parliament, was to a great extent influenced by a desire to move 
the masses. On the one hand an attempt was made to show 
that the famine relief measures adopted by the Government in 
Ireland were wholly inadequate, and that the people would 
be left to perish through official incapacity and neglect. Mr. 
Chamberlain was a stout champion of this view — which, it is 
needless to say, events have since completely refuted — during 
the debates on the first Irish Distress Bill. But, on the other 
hand, the Conservatives lost no opportunity of identifying their 
opponents with Irish disloyalty and disturbance. The resolu- 
tions proposed for the suppression of Obstruction in the House 
of Commons were sustained, however, in principle by Lord 
Hartington and the great body of the Liberal party; and the 
Extreme Home Eulers, to whom head was presently given by 
the deposition of Mr. Shaw from his sessional chairmanship and 
the elevation of Mr. Parnell, then campaigning in the United 
States, to that place, showed no disposition to ally themselves 
with the regular Opposition. The restlessness with which the 
session opened had somewhat subsided when, in the middle of 
March, six weeks after the meeting of Parliament, the Govern- 
ment announced that the Dissolution would take place at Easter 
if the Budget and other indispensable business could be disposed 
of by that time. The Liberals were eager to accept the chal- 
lenge, and no obstacle to the winding-up of the session was 

Electioneering addresses and speeches absorbed public atten- 
tion for weeks. Lord Beaconsfield led off with a letter to the 
Viceroy of Ireland, which was intended to be a political mani- 
festo. It charged the Liberals, by implication, with advocating 
a " policy of decomposition^ " and denounced the Home Rule and 


agrarian agitation in Ireland as " a danger, in its ultimate results, 
scarcely less disastrous than pestilence and famine." The addresses 
of Mr. Gladstone, Lord Hartington, Sir Stafford Northcote, and 
Mr. Cross were criticised and discussed, while the business 
remaining to be transacted in Parliament was neglected and 
almost forgotten. 

The active work of the election campaign was not long 
delayed. Lord Hartington's able and vigorous speeches in North- 
East Lancashire attracted special notice, and Mr. Gladstone 
renewed in Midlothian the oratorical tours de force of the pre- 
ceding winter. One of the most notable incidents of the pro- 
longed contest was Lord Derby's declaration, in a letter to Lord 
Sefton, that he had finally broken with the Conservative party 
and taken his place, " however reluctantly," in the ranks of the 
Liberals. But, on the whole, the battle was fought upon strict 
party lines. The Conservatives suffered the most crushing 
defeat they had met with since the first general election after 
the Reform Bill. The gain of the Liberals in the first day's 
borough elections alone almost annihilated the majority which 
had supported Lord Beaconsfield, and every following day 
showed new conquests on the one side and losses on the other. 
The secession of the English county voters in large numbers 
from the Conservative side was a significant fact. In Scotland 
and in Wales the reaction, as might have been anticipated, 
almost deprived Conservatism of representation in Parliament. 
In Ireland two-thirds of the members returned were Home 
Rulers. When the composition of the new House of Commons 
was at length made known, it appeared that it consisted of 351 
Liberals, 237 Conservatives, and 65 Home Rulers j but bye- 
elections have to some extent altered these proportions, and the 
Liberal majority is at present slightly below its estimated 
strength at the close of the elections in April. 

The resignation of Lord Beaconsfield, in accordance with the 
precedents of 1868 and 1874, was tendered to the Queen as 
soon as it was clear that the Liberal party had obtained an 
unquestionable majority. The leaders of the Opposition since 
Mr. Gladstone's retirement after his former defeat had been 
Lord Hartington in the Lower House and Lord Granville in 
the Upper House. These statesmen were consulted in the first 
instance, but, in accordance with consultations among the chiefs 
of the party, they recommended the Queen to entrust the task 


to tlie former Liberal Premier. It could not, indeed, be 
contested that the Liberal victory was due more to the energy 
and eloquence of Mr. Gladstone than to the qualities, however 
high, of any other individual or connection. The new Liberal 
majority was bound, almost without exception, by pledges of 
personal allegiance to Mr. Gladstone, and the more advanced 
section of it did not conceal a resolution to regard no one else's 
authority as binding. Everything pointed to the selection of 
Mr. Gladstone as the chief of the new Administration, if he 
were only willing once more to take office. He consented to 
accept the duty, and his Cabinet was constructed with a view to 
conciliate and to represent the different sections of the Liberal 

Mr. Gladstone himself, with a confident courage that would 
have become a man in the prime of his powers, undertook not 
only the control of the general policy of the Government as 
First Lord of the Treasury, but the arduous functions of the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer. Some Liberal peers returned to 
the offices they had held in Mr. Gladstone's former Ministry ; 
Lord Selborne again became Lord Chancellor,- Lord Granville 
Foreign Secretary, Lord Kimberley Colonial Secretary, the 
Duke of Argyll Lord Privy Seal. Lord Spencer, formerly 
Viceroy in Ireland, became President of the Council. In the 
Lower House the Ministerial combination included some new 
elements, and involved some changes which could not have 
been forecasted. Mr. Bright, indeed, resumed his post as 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; but Mr. Childers, 
formerly identified with the Admiralty, became Secretary for 
War ; Lord Northbrook, formerly Viceroy of India, First 
Lord of the Admiralty ; Lord Hartington, formerly Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, Secretary of State for India ; Sir William 
Harcourt, formerly Solicitor-General, Home Secretary ; Mr. 
Forster, formerly Vice-President of the Council, Chief Secretary 
for Ireland; and Mr. Dodson, formerly Chairman of Com- 
mittees, President of the Local Government Board. 

These changes gave abundant opportunity for the develop- 
ment of Ministerial ability in unsuspected directions, and 
portended some surprises for the public ; but they did not 
provide for the representation of the Eadical wing of the 
Liberal party, which had acquired numerical strength and 
confidence in its own power and merit at the general election. 


The negotiations for the settlement of these claims were 
protracted, but they ended in an arrangement with which the 
Radicals have generally been satisfied. Mr. Chamberlain, the 
skilful worker of the Birmingham system of party organisation, 
entered the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. Three 
other Liberals of advanced opinions accepted important offices 
outside the Cabinet, Mr. Fawcett becoming Postmaster-General, 
Sir Charles Dilke Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. 
Mundella Vice-President of the CounciL The other offices fell 
to men who had previously served their apprenticeship in 
politics. Some well-known names were missed. Mr. Lowe 
did not return to office, but was raised to the peerage as 
Viscount Sherbrooke ; Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen at the same 
time became Lord Brabourne. Lord Carlingford and Lord 
Cardwell made way for men of the younger generation. Lord 
Cowper was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and Lord 
Ripon Viceroy of India ; while a little later Mr. Goschen 
consented to undertake the special duties of Ambassador 
Extraordinary at Constantinople, replacing Sir Henry Layard, 
who retired nominally on leave of absence, but in fact 

The general impression created by the announcement of these 
Ministerial appointments was that the new Government would 
be strong both in debating power and in administrative capacity. 
It cannot be said that these expectations have been disappointed. 
The Ministry during the session, which extended from May to 
September, showed an abundance of Parliamentary ability; 
and some striking successes in administration — especially Mr. 
Fawcett's vigorous management of the Post Office — have to be 
placed to their credit But as the session closed it was felt 
that the most had not been made, either in the field of 
legislation or elsewhere, of rare opportunities and the propelling 
force of a powerful popular movement. There have been an 
apparent want of knowledge of men and a touch of peremptori- 
ness of manner which in some vital matters have not been 
compensated for by firmness and calmness. Mr. Gladstone's 
Supplementary Budget has been a success, and the Burials Act, 
the Employers' Liability Act, and the Ground Game Act, 
whatever differences of opinion may exist as to their substantial 
merits, are important legislative achievements. But the conduct 
of the controversies arising out of Mr. Bradlaugh's case and out 


of the Compensation for Disturbance Bill did little credit either 
to Government or Parliament. 

The withdrawal of Mr. Gladstone from the political scene, 
during his illness, undoubtedly lessened the energy of the 
Administration, and was chargeable with much of the waste of 
time and temper which kept the Houses sitting a whole month 
later than usual. Although there is no sign of the withdrawal 
of popular support from Mr. Gladstone's Ministry, it cannot be 
affirmed that it has not lost ground with the country, especially 
since the state of Ireland has begun to rouse much deep 
indignant feeling in England. Outwardly, however, as the 
year is ending, the Government retains its power, if not its 
credit, undiminished. 

The personal changes among officials since the Ministry was 
formed eight months ago have been unimportant. Mr. Adam 
has accepted the Governorship of Madras, and has been 
succeeded as First Commissioner of Works by Mr. Shaw- 
Lefevre, Mr. Trevelyan being appointed to the Secretaryship of 
the Admiralty thus vacated. The general election produced a 
large crop of election petitions, and in several' cases the reports 
of the judges brought to light so scandalous a state of things 
that Eoyal Commissions were issued to inquire into electoral 
corruption in Chester, Macclesfield, Oxford, Boston, Canterbury, 
Gloucester, Knaresborough, and Sandwich. An immense mass 
of evidence was taken by the Commissioners, and has been 
published from time to time, and the effect on the public mind 
has been to produce mingled disgust and alarm, with a 
conviction that a large reform is necessary. It is manifest that 
in many constituencies there is a deep-seated taint which has 
not been extirpated by the admission of large numbers of voters 
under a liberal franchise. 

At the opening of the year the condition of Ireland was 
causing much anxiety, and down to the last that anxiety, 
through many changes of form, has constantly increased. It 
was feared at first that the scarcity would become a real famine, 
and the Conservative Ministry were violently assailed for not 
taking adequate measures to avert loss of life. It proved, however, 
that even in the most grievously afflicted districts the provision 
made by public assistance or private alms for the relief of distress 
was ample, nor has the malignity of anti-English agitators been 
able to point to the spectacle of a starving community. 


But, while the alarm of famine and the lavish expenditure 
upon relief combined to demoralise the Irish people, the 
followers of Mr. Parnell steadily laboured to raise a popular cry 
against the payment of rent. At the outset the distress was 
made the pretext of a refusal to fulfil contracts relating to land, 
but Mr. Parnell very soon advanced to a more commanding 
position ; he advised the peasantry to " hold the land," and to 
pay only so much rent as they deemed fair, and he allowed it 
to be plainly seen that his ultimate object was the separation of 
Ireland from Great Britain. Early in the year Mr. Parnell 
visited the United States with the object of raising a fund, 
partly for the relief of distress, and partly for the promotion of 
his political objects at home. His success was not conspicuous, 
but his influence as the rallying-point of disaffected feeling in 
Ireland was increased, and at the general election more than 
half of the Home Eule candidates had to pledge themselves to 
follow him blindly. Some of the most respectable of the 
Roman Catholic Liberals, such as the O'Conor Don and Mr. N. 
D. Murphy, lost their seats because they fell under the ban of 
the advanced faction. The victory of the Parnellites led to the 
displacement of Mr. Shaw by Mr. Parnell himself, who, having 
been chosen in three constituencies, elected to sit for the city 
of Cork, and was immediately nominated Sessional Chairman of 
the party. 

When the new Ministry was formed the extreme Irish 
faction, who took their places on the Opposition side of the 
House of Commons, put forward a declaration that they would 
be content with no moderate measure of land reform, and the 
word of command was given to "distrust the Whigs." The 
Land League, which was founded to supply the working 
machinery for carrying Mr. Parnell's agrarian policy into effect, 
now began to be active and to " organise " the peasantry in the 
resistance to rent-paying. The alarms respecting famine died 
away as the summer wore on and as the encouraging harvest 
prospects were realised. But, unfortunately, the Government 
had been tempted to depart from the sure ground they had 
originally taken up, and had reopened the Irish land 
question prematurely and incautiously by the introduction of 
Mr. Forster's Disturbance Bill. Mr. Parnell was seconded in 
his inflammatory efforts by some of the new Home Rule 
members — notably Mr. Dillon — who strove to surpass their 


master. The tenants were warned not to yield an inch to the 
landlords, but to " hold the harvest " as well as to " hold the 
land," defying all legal process for the recovery of rent unpaid. 
Then began the systematic outrages by which terror was to be 
struck into the souls of all who did not bow down before the 

After Parliament was prorogued the language of Mr. Parnell 
and his lieutenants grew more fierce, and agrarian crime 
increased with frightful rapidity. The Land League proceeded 
to enact that tenants should nowhere pay more than Griffith's 
valuation, which was at least 25 per cent under the letting 
value of ordinary land when the basis of rating was fixed 
according to the low standard of agricultural prices ruling a 
generation ago. Attempts to resist this decision, either on the 
part of landlords demanding their due or of tenants willing to 
pay, were punished by atrocious outrages, including murder, 
maiming, destruction of cattle and crops, and torture inflicted 
on men and animals. The assassination of Mr. Boyd, a land 
agent's son, in the south-east of Ireland, was followed by that 
of Lord Mountmorres on the borders of Galway and Mayo, and 
that of the driver of a Mr. Hutchins's car, near Glengariff, in 
the county of Cork. For these acts the Land League orators 
sometimes expressed conventional regret, but more often they 
were content to weigh them against the " crimes " which, as 
they alleged, the landlords had committed by evicting tenants 
and raising rents. 

By degrees it became apparent that the law had no terrors 
for the instruments of the Land League policy. When the 
Government came into office some parts of the Peace Preservation 
Act of 1870 still remained in force, including restrictions on the 
sale and use of arms and provisions for levying compensation 
in cases of death or personal injury, upon the districts concerned ; 
but Mr. Forster believed that he could appeal more strongly to 
the goodwill of Ireland by abandoning all extraordinary powers, 
and the Act was allowed to expire in June. In the autumn 
the incapacity of the law to cope with organised intimidation 
resting upon the terrors inspired by unpunished outrage could 
no longer be disguised. A number of Irish noblemen and 
gentlemen waited upon the Lord-Lieutenant and the Chief 
Secretary in Dublin Castle to ask whether no steps were to be 
taken to give them protection, not only in executing processes 


of law against defaulting debtors, but in the ordinary peaceful 
and secure enjoyment of life and property. The Chief 
Secretary promised, in the name of the Government, that if the 
law was not respected exceptional measures would be adopted 
to put down crime. 

Soon afterwards a step was taken which was intended to 
reassure the timid and to prove that the law had terrors for its 
enemies. At the Land League meetings which were held 
throughout the country the people were incited to combine in 
refusing payment of rent over Griffith's valuation and to resist 
any consequent proceedings. The adoption of these counsels led 
directly to the social war since carried on with increasing success 
by the occupiers of land against the owners, and the law 
advisers of the Irish Government conceived that some of the 
leaders of the Land League had brought themselves within the 
grasp of the law by their speeches. An information for seditious 
conspiracy was applied for by the Crown against Mr. Parnell, 
some other Home Rule members of Parliament, and several 
of the officials of the Land League. The trial at Bar in the 
Court of Queen's Bench was appointed to begin on the 28th of 
December, and it is certain that the proceedings will be of 
enormous length. The policy of these State prosecutions has 
been much questioned, both on the ground that the law of 
conspiracy is a weapon which it is not desirable to furbish up 
against political offenders in these days and on the ground that, 
while a conviction is doubtful, an acquittal would be popularly 
regarded as crowning Mr. Parnell with victory. In any case, 
the menace of the prosecutions did not put a stop to lawlessness 
in Ireland ; intimidation and outrage extended and consolidated 
their power, and appeals were made to the Irish Executive to 
reinforce the existing law, which was plainly impotent either to 
check or to punish crime, by the assumption of more stringent 

When the Cabinet met on the 10th of November it was 
generally believed that Mr. Forster would make out an irresist- 
ible case for strong precautionary measures, and the language 
of Mr. Gladstone at the Guildhall on Lord Mayor's Day seemed 
to indicate that on proof of necessity even the Ministers who 
were least favourable to coercion would not refuse such 
measures. On the other hand Mr. Bright and Mr. Chamberlain, 
in their public speeches, laid marked stress upon the doctrine 


that " force is no remedy." It was inferred that there were 
divisions in the Cabinet, but of the fact the public had no 
certain knowledge. It was apparent, however, that the issue of 
the Ministerial discussions was indecisive, for, although at a 
subsequent Council the meeting of Parliament was fixed for the 
6th of January, a full month earlier than usual — thus 
admitting urgency — affairs were allowed to drift in the 

How serious were the results of the inadequacy of the law 
to cope with organised crime was shown in the charges of the 
judges at the opening of the winter assizes. Mr. Justice 
Fitzgerald in Cork, and Mr. Baron Dowse in Galway, drew an 
alarming picture of the prevailing lawlessness in Munster and 
Connaught, while Justices Barry and Lawson bore testimony to 
the progress of the contagion in Leinster and even in Ulster. 
These judicial statements included no facts not already known 
to the Executive authorities, but they revealed to the English 
public the impression produced upon the minds of loyal men in 
Ireland by the spread of the terrorism. Not one case of outrage 
out of ten led to a prosecution, and the tria'ls at the assizes 
proved that even of this small proportion very few could be 
expected to end in the punishment of the guilty. Mr. Justice 
Fitzgerald complained that both witnesses and jurors had been 
driven by menaces to forget or forego the obligations of their 
oaths. Prisoners were acquitted against whom conclusive evi- 
dence had been taken before the magistrates. The judges them- 
selves were threatened if they persisted in doing their duty. 

But even these disclosures had less effect in arousing public 
opinion in England than the extraordinary system of intimida- 
tion put in force against Captain Boycott, Lord Erne's agent, 
near Lough Mask, on the borders of Galway and Mayo. 
Captain Boycott had incurred the enmity of the Land League 
by attempting to enforce the payment of rent, and sentence of 
social excommunication was passed upon him in October, His 
servants and labourers were ordered to leave him, shopkeepers 
were forbidden to deal with him, his cattle and crops were 
doomed to perish of neglect. The victim could have obtained 
assistance from England or from Ulster but that it was well 
known the lives of the new-comers would have been in extreme 
danger. Police protection was utterly powerless, and intimida- 
tion would have carried its point without check had not the 


spirit of the Ulster men been stirred up, and an expedition for the 
'• relief " of Lough Maskhouse been organised among the tenant- 
farmers of Cavan and Monaghan. The Government became 
seriously alarmed at the prospect of a collision between the 
relief party and the peasantry. An "army" of nearly 1000 
men, with cavalry, infantry, and artillery all complete, was 
despatched to the scene of action, and the " invaders," as the 
Land League styled them, were allowed to gather in part of 
Captain Boycott's crops. 

But when the work was done Captain Boycott's position 
was little better than before. He had to leave the farm in 
which he had sunk all his capital, and which has been 
surrendered to the pranks of malignity and rapine. The 
impossibility of keeping intimidation at bay by the use of 
troops to protect individuals was strikingly demonstrated. 
"Boycotting" became general, and although resting upon 
criminal threats or outrages, it has been carried on up to the 
present without any effectual resistance on the part of the law. 
During the past few weeks an attempt to " boycott " Mr. Bence 
Jones, a landowner farming on a large scale in the county 
of Cork, has attracted attention. Similar cases have more 
recently become of daily occurrence. Steamship and railway 
companies have been forbidden to carry cattle or goods for 
persons under the ban, and in too many cases the objects of 
this terrorism have helplessly submitted. 

European politics at the beginning of the year were 
disturbed rather by vague apprehensions of conflict than by any 
actual crisis. The settlement of the Eastern Question under 
the Treaty of Berlin still remained incomplete ; Sir Henry 
Layard was engaged in a continual struggle with those in power 
at the Porte and the palace, with no eminent success. But it 
was in the West, not in the East, that clouds seemed to be 
gathering. A certain alienation between Germany and Russia 
was not concealed, and a violent polemical controversy was 
opened in semi-official journals on both sides. The attitude of 
France was one of reserve. It was currently believed that the 
introduction of a Bill increasing the numbers of the German 
army for the next ten years was intended to make an impression 
on the European imagination. 

From whatever cause, and without any visible crisis, the 
tension abated. Men's minds were turned in other directions, 



chiefly by tlie revival of European interest in Eastern affairs which 
followed the accession of the Liberal Government to office in 
England. Down to the general election the foreign policy of 
Lord Beaconsfield's Ministry had been attacked and defended 
with unparalleled vehemence. Not a few Liberals were on the 
side of his defence, and much interest was excited by a 
brilliant speech in which Mr. Cowen, the Kadical member for 
Newcastle, protested against the abuse heaped upon the 
Government by the Opposition. In the determination, how- 
ever, of the issue before the country, it may be said that 
foreign questions played only a secondary part. The spirit and 
tone of Lord Beaconsfield's policy were not approved by the 
majority of the constituencies, but no sanction was given to a 
new departure. Lord Granville's appointment to the Foreign 
Office was generally accepted as a pledge that the Liberal 
Government would be cautious and moderate, and would not 
break away roughly from the fixed lines of national policy. 
Almost the first act of the Prime Minister after his appointment 
was to write a letter to Count Karolyi, the Ambassador of 
Austria-Hungary in this country, apologising for the language 
he had used with respect to Austrian policy, when enjoy- 
ing the irresponsibility of opposition, during the Midlothian 

Mr. Goschen's mission to Constantinople, preceded by a visit 
to the most important political centres in Europe, was the first 
step towards the formation of a European concert for the 
execution of the unperformed parts of the Treaty of Berlin, 
which Lord Granville's circular on assuming office had indicated 
as the immediate object to be aimed at by the friends of 
international peace. Two main questions were to be settled. 
The Porte had not given effect to any of the numerous 
compromises suggested for solving the Montenegrin frontier 
difficulty, on the pretence that opposition of the Albanians made 
it impossible to execute the transfer of territory acknowledged 
in principle to be a part of the settlement imposed by the 
treaty ; and had all along refused to accept as binding the 
recommendation of the Protocol adopted at Berlin, that a large 
part of Thessaly and Epirus should be ceded to Greece. Both 
questions were taken in hand by the Powers shortly after 
the change of Ministry in England. After some hesitation a 
Conference was assembled at Berlin to consider what develop- 


ment should be given to the Protocol of the Congress of 1878 
relating to the Greek claims. The Montenegrin dispute was 
more peremptorily dealt with. Separate attempts to bend 
the Sultan's will having failed, the only result being the 
dismissal of Said Pasha and the formation of a so-called 
reforming Ministry under Kadri Pasha, a Collective Note was 
presented, which was met, in Ottoman fashion, with dilatory 

Ultimately the Powers decided upon insisting that the town 
and district of Dulcigno should be peacefully surrendered to 
Montenegro by a fixed date ; in the event of non-compliance 
a naval demonstration, representing all the Powers, was to take 
place. Turkey still held back, and a conjoint squadron under 
the English Admiral, Sir Beauchamp Seymour, assembled at 
Ragusa. The immediate effect was not pacific. Kadri Pasha's 
Ministry fell, and Said returned to power. For a while it 
appeared that a conflict could not be avoided. The Sultan 
addressed a letter to the European ambassadors declaring that 
until the naval demonstration was withdrawn he could not 
entertain the question of surrendering Dulcigno. On the other 
hand, though the allied squadron had taken up a menacing 
position close to the scene of the cession demanded, the 
Admirals were not empowered to accede to the demand of 
Montenegro for active aid and a guarantee of indemnity. The 
Porte, perceiving the hesitations of the Powers, published a Note 
on the 4 th of October, which was generally regarded as a 
defiance of Europe. 

The issue between the policies of conflicting coercion and 
suasion could no longer be avoided by the European Cabinets. 
It has since become known that the policy of coercion could not 
have been insisted upon without entailing the rupture of the 
European concert. The British Government proposed that the 
fleet should be despatched to Smyrna, with a view to putting 
pressure upon the Sultan by the sequestration of the Customs 
revenues. Russia and Italy were willing to join in this project, 
but Austria and Germany were disinclined to accept any share 
of responsibility. The scale was turned by France, where a 
singular retrogressive movement of public opinion had taken 
place, and where even the influence of M. Gambetta in favour 
of an active policy in the East had been overpowered. The 
French Government refused to take any steps which might 


conceivably lead to war, on tlie ground that by so doing they 
would separate themselves from the European concert. 

The proposal with respect to Smyrna was, therefore, still- 
born. But the menace, though, never adopted by the Powers, 
sufl&ced to bring the Porte to a sudden submission, and four 
days after the issue of the defiant Note it was announced that 
Dulcigno would be surrendered unconditionally, the Sultan, 
however, expressing a hope that in consequence the naval 
demonstration would be withdrawn. When it leaked out by 
and by that the Powers were not in accord and would not have 
proceeded to measures of coercion, the zeal for concession cooled 
at Constantinople, and for several weeks the allied fleet paraded 
the Adriatic, while the Turks were raising new difficulties 
about the details of the surrender and conjuring up the spectre 
of an Albanian rising. At last the matter was put into the 
hands of a resolute man, Dervish Pasha, who showed the 
Albanians that he could and would fight ; he occupied Dulcigno 
without serious resistance and handed it over without difficulty 
to the Montenegrins. The work of the fleet was now agreed to 
be over, and the naval demonstration came to an end by the 
dispersal of the ships. 

During the earlier stages of these proceedings the Powers 
had pressed for a settlement of the Greek claims as well as of 
the Montenegrin dispute, but diplomacy had succeeded in 
separating them, and after the surrender of Dulcigno was 
promised the naval demonstration could not have been employed 
to extort the cession of Janina, Larissa, and Metzovo without a 
formal renewal of the European concert to that end. The 
attitude, however, of France, Germany, and Austria when the 
proposal with respect to Smyrna was discussed had been fatal 
to the hope that coercion would have been adopted by the 
Powers even in the incontestable case of Montenegro. The 
probability of applying it in the more debatable matter of the 
Greek frontier was small indeed. But the controversy had 
drifted into complications of which, as it seemed, only coercion 
could cut the knot. The claims of Greece, advocated at Berlin 
by M. Waddington and endorsed by the Conservative Ministry 
in England, as well as by their Liberal successors, had been 
vigorously revived about the time of Mr. Gladstone's accession 
to power. The King of the Hellenes visited the great European 
capitals and had interviews with the leading statesmen, which 


encouraged Ms people to hope for a speedy settlement. Greece 
began to arm, with the avowed intention of extorting by force, 
if not otherwise, the cession of the districts designated by the 
Protocol of 1878. A Greek invasion of Thessaly and Epirus 
would have led, it was feared, to a rising in all the regions 
south of the Balkans, especially as the Bulgarians were suspected 
of preparing to effect a junction with East Koumelia and to 
constitute a powerful Slav State extending from the Danube 
to the iEgean. 

The Conference at Berlin attempted to escape from the 
difficulty by directing Turkey to cede the disputed districts to 
Greece. But Turkey contested the validity of this mandate, 
and the matter had not drawn nearer to a settlement when 
the naval demonstration was dissolved after the surrender of 
Dulcigno. Greece was armed and seething with excitement ; 
a Ministry suspected of timidity or prudence had been over- 
thrown ; the King was made to speak in the most emphatic 
and unflinching terms. Turkey was not less resolute in resist- 
ance. The Powers showed no disposition to enforce the award 
of the Conference, and France, the original champion of the 
Greek claims, conspicuously drew back. Germany and Austria, 
it was understood, would take part in no active measures. The 
English policy had always been founded upon the concert of 
Europe, and, with the utmost desire to secure fair treatment for 
Greece, there was no possibility of attempting to coerce the 
Porte without the co-operation of France, Germany, and Austria. 
Turkey seized the occasion of this doubtful pause to call upon 
the Powers to restrain the Greeks from breaking the peace. 
Proposals for submitting the dispute to arbitration have been 
lately discussed, and, if the parties concerned can be induced to 
pledge themselves to submit to the award, a satisfactory arrange- 
ment may prove attainable. The suggestion that Crete should 
be ceded instead of Janina, Larissa, and Metzovo is not likely to 
be entertained either at Constantinople or at Athens. 

Foreign affairs absorbed the interest of politicians in Germany 
and Austria during the greater part of the year. The Bill for 
the increase of the German army, adopted in January by the 
Federal Council, met with sharp criticism ; the Emperor and his 
Chancellor, however, were determined that it should be carried, 
and, on its introduction in the Reichstag, it was supported by a 
striking speech by Count von Moltke, who argued that the unity 


of Germany could only be secured against dangers on this side 
and on that by keeping her military strength at least on a level 
with that of her possible enemies. The Bill was carried, and 
Prince Bismarck, after a threat of resignation, presently with- 
drawn, as usual, overcame resistance on minor points. Dissatis- 
fied, however, with the uncertainty of his Parliamentary support 
— the Ultramontanes not being ready to give their votes except 
in return for absolute and irrevocable concessions, and the 
National Liberals being alienated in part by the Chancellor's 
Protectionist policy and in part by his dalliance with Kome — 
the Prussian Government proposed to modify the " May Laws " 
so as to place a discretionary power with respect to their enforce- 
ment in the hands of the Executive. This Bill was also carried, 
but the Ultramontanes have not yet been reconciled, and the 
advanced body of the Liberals remains more suspicious than 

Much painful feeling has been excited by the social persecu- 
tion of the Jews, which is preached by some persons in favour 
at the Court, and by certain popular writers. A Parliamentary 
debate on the subject revealed an amount of intolerance which 
would not have been supposed to exist among a people so 
thoughtful and cultivated as the Germans, 

It was more than once rumoured that the bonds of the 
alliance between Germany and Austria were being relaxed, but 
on every critical occasion it has been found that the two empires 
are ready to act together. The indirect influence of this close 
connection is seen in the resistance which the German Liberals 
of Austria have organised against the presumed separatist and 
pro-Slavonic tendencies of Count Taaffe's Ministry. The Autono- 
mists, Ultramontanes, and Feudal Conservatives have hitherto 
been too strong for their opponents, but the emphatic declarations 
of the latter that Austria is a " German Land," and that they 
intend to keep it so, ought not to be lost sight of. 

Italian policy is to Austrian policy as one pole of the magnet 
is to the other ; the opposition is permanent, but the one cannot 
exist apart from the influence of the other. Signor Cairoli, 
whose Government was weakened in the spring by a quarrel 
with the Senate, felt strong enough soon after to denounce the 
Italia Irredenta agitation as "insane." The general election 
which took place in May gave no promise of political stability. 
About half the Chamber belonged to the Ministerial Left, while 


the other half was divided between the Right and the dis- 
contented followers of Signor Nicotera in the proportion of 
two to one. Hitherto, however, the Ministry has held its 

In the smaller States there have been few noteworthy events. 
Spain is tranquil and has witnessed no political changes, though 
Cuba is again beginning to cause anxiety at Madrid ; nothing 
has been done to improve the position of the finances, and it is 
believed that the Government will not be propitiated by Mr. 
Gladstone's proposed reduction of the wine duties. In Belgium 
the Liberal Ministry is engaged in bitter strife with the Church, 
and the formal relations between this kingdom and the Vatican 
have been wholly broken off. 

Russia is still perturbed by the mysterious movements of 
Nihilism. A desperate attempt to blow up the Winter Palace 
at St. Petersburg narrowly missed its object in February last, 
the Czar's life being saved by a combination of accidents. The 
horror inspired by this outrage led to the suspension of public 
liberty and the transfer of dictatorial power to General Melikoff, 
who was successful in his severe administration of justice, and 
appears to have held the revolutionists effectually in check. The 
death of the Empress, which had been long expected, has sup- 
plied an additional motive for the Czar's retirement from active 
life, by allowing him to enter into a morganatic marriage with 
the Prinpess Dolgorouka. In European affairs the rdle of Russia 
has been that of caution and reserve. In Asia a threatening 
quarrel with China, growing out of the Kuldja cession, has been 
with difficulty composed. The alliance of Austria and Germany 
has tended to bring Russia and France together, and this in- 
fluence alleviated the bitterness felt when the French Government 
refused the extradition of Hartmann, one of the principals in 
the murderous Moscow plot, and the Russian ambassador tempor- 
arily left Paris. 

France, however, has been advancing so rapidly along the 
line of Liberalism that even for the most important objects of 
international policy she was unable to make herself the instru- 
ment of Russian autocracy. M. de Freycinet had come into 
office at the close of last year ; his Ministry was regarded as a 
slight advance upon that of M. Waddington ; but he was soon 
compelled to move faster. The amnesty without conditions was 
pressed upon him by4he Extreme Left, and he resisted so faintly 


that ultimate concession was foreshadowed. Upon a more serious 
question M. de Freycinet yielded at once ; he consented to the 
insertion in M. Jules Ferry's Government Education Bill of a 
clause levelled at the " unauthorised " religious orders which 
had been tolerated under the Empire, and had set up teaching 
establishments. The Chamber of Deputies passed the Bill by a 
great majority, but the Senate, led by M. Jules Simon, threw 
out the clause in question. 

The Ministry proceeded, however, to effect its purpose by 
decrees founded on laws that had fallen into disuse, and the 
proscription of the orders was proclaimed. But the Government 
was weakened by dissensions on other questions. A Public 
Meetings Bill, by which M. de Freycinet desired to retain some 
control over incendiary rhetoric, led to a conflict with the 
majority in the Chamber, and to the resignation of M. Lepere. 
The Government was modified by the introduction of a more 
pronounced Gambettist, and amnesty proposals going beyond 
those rejected in February were brought forward. Although 
difficulties arose with the Senate, the matter was compromised. 
Practically the Radicals gained their point, and among other 
Communists M. Rochefort returned to Paris, where he dis- 
tinguished himself by assailing the advocates of mercy. The 
expulsion of the Jesuits under the decrees caused little sensation, 
but M. de Freycinet was known to be willing to deal moderately 
with the other orders, and had opened negotiations with the 
Vatican for a compromise. At the same time he was hostile to an 
active foreign policy. On these points he found himself in con- 
flict with M. Gambetta, and the result was that three Cabinet 
Ministers resigned on the ground that the decrees were not being 
carried out. 

After some delay M. Jules Ferry formed a Cabinet, chiefly 
consisting of M. de Freycinet's more advanced colleagues, but 
with M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire, M. Thiers's jidus Achates, at 
the Foreign Office. Although the decrees against the orders 
were carried out by M. Ferry with a harshness which shocked 
public opinion throughout Europe, the Ministry was not after M. 
Gambetta's heart. In foreign policy M. St. Hilaire was no more 
disposed to adventure than M. de Freycinet. The Cabinet had 
only been in office a few weeks when it was placed in a minority 
in the Chamber by a vote postponing the Education Bills to the 
Bills making magistrates removable. M.**Ferry resigned, but 


withdrew his resignation under pressure from M. Gambetta. 
Another crisis was provoked by a vote of censure carried in the 
Senate on the ground that the authorities, in removing religious 
emblems from the schools, had treated the crucifix with insult. 
It is felt, however, that in the existing state of parties no Minis- 
terial combination will be strong enough to hold its own while 
M. Gambetta declines the responsibility and claims the reality 
of power. M. Ferry remains in office, but the President of the 
Chamber of Deputies governs. Yet M. Gambetta is assailed 
with increasing acrimony by the Radicals. The collapse of the 
Monarchical parties has left the field clear for a stniggle between 
the Opportunists and the intransigent Republicans. 

The relations between this country and France have been 
throughout close and cordial. M. L^on Say's appointment as 
ambassador at this Court was generally thought to promise an 
arrangement for the renewal of the Commercial Treaty which 
had been provisionally continued pending the French general 
tariff legislations. Mr. Gladstone was willing to make an effort 
to compass this object, and his Supplementary Budget included 
a provision for the reduction of the wine duties demanded by 
the FrencL M. Leon Say, however, soon abandoned the London 
Embassy, preferring the Presidency of the Senate, which had 
been vacated by M. Martel. He was succeeded as ambassador 
by M. Challemel-Lacour. The negotiations with respect to the 
treaty did not make rapid progress in France, and finally were 
postponed till the coming year. The revision of the English 
wine duties, in which not only France, but Spain, Portugal, 
Italy, and Germany are interested, has in consequence been put 
off, and will probably be dealt with in Mr. Gladstone's next 

Our position in Afghanistan has involved a continuous strain 
of anxiety. At the close of 1879 Sir Frederick Roberts had re- 
occupied Cabul and checked the menacing attacks of the Afghan 
tribes ; but the position of affairs was still critical. Mahomed 
Jan, an ambitious Sirdar, having possessed himself of the boy, 
Musa Khan, the heir of the deposed Ameer, was at the head of 
a large body of insurgents, while Ayoob Khan was leading 
another army from Herat. A project for transferring Herat to 
Persia came to nothing through the fears of the Shah or the 
intrigues of Russia at Teheran. Shortly afterwards Abdurrah- 
man Khan, Shere All's rival and long the guest of the Russians 


at Tashkend, appeared in Balkh and was recognised by the 

The policy of Lord Beaconsfield's Government in unravelling 
this tangled skein was not disclosed before the general election, 
and the Liberals came into power fettered only by the Treaty 
of Gandamak, unless the recognition by Lord Lytton of the 
Afghan Governor, Shere Ali, as independent " Wali " of Canda- 
har, were an exception to this freedom. Lord Lytton resigned 
as soon as the issue of the elections was known, and was suc- 
ceeded by the Marquis of Eipon. The interregnum, however, 
was necessarily prolonged while the late Viceroy quitted India 
and his successor set out from England. In the meantime Sir 
Donald Stewart, advancing from Candahar, had captured Ghazni. 
The credit of our arms was maintained, but the situation was, 
in the opinion of the Government, not permanently tenable, 
and negotiations were opened with Abdurrahman, who seemed 
to have the best chance of establishing himself in power at 
Cabul. Lord Hartington did not admit that an immediate 
withdrawal from Candahar was possible, and a settlement was 
postponed from week to week. 

Meanwhile the "Wali was threatened by Ayoob Khan and 
the Herat army, and a British force had to be sent to protect 
him. General Primrose, commanding at Candahar, sent forward 
General Burrows with a brigade to the Helmand. The Wall's 
troops deserted in numbers to the enemy, and it turned out that 
Ayoob's strength had been altogether underrated. Towards the 
end of July a terrible defeat was inflicted at Mai wand on General 
Burrows, the remnant of whose force with difficulty joined 
General Primrose's garrison. 

An attack on Candahar seemed imminent, but Ayoob hesi- 
tated and lost his opportunity. A bold resolution was taken at 
Cabul. Sir Frederick Roberts, gathering a force of over 9000 
men, marched to the relief of Candahar, allowing Abdurrahman, 
with whom all arrangements had been previously concluded, to 
occupy Cabul, and leaving to General Stewart the duty of lead- 
ing back the rest of the British troops by the Khyber to the 
Punjab. Sir F. Roberts, cut off from direct communication 
with his countrymen, disappeared, as it were, from human ken 
for three weeks, during which the national anxiety was extreme. 
It was doubted whether Candahar could hold out until relieved, 
and yet relief from no other quarter could be hoped for in time. 


At length Sir F. Roberts emerged victorious from the trackless 
region between Cabul and Candahar. Immediately he grappled 
with Ayoob Khan, and inflicted upon that pretender a crush- 
ing defeat. This brilliant achievement and the results which 
followed won for the successful General the admiring gratitude 
of his countrymen, and put an end to the carping criticism with 
which his severe measures for maintaining the peace at Cabul 
had been assailed by some politicians at home. 

The defeat of Ayoob and the establishment of Abdurrahman 
at Cabul opened the way for a new departure in Anglo-Indian 
policy. But no decisive step has yet been taken by Lord Ripon 
for the abandonment of the position assumed by Lord Lytton. 
The new Viceroy's rule has not been without its anxieties. 
Foremost among the difficulties he inherited was the confusion 
of the finances, due to an astounding miscalculation of the cost 
of the Afghan war. When Sir John Strachey produced his 
budget in February he accepted without inquiry the sanguine 
estimates of the Military Department, and it was taken for 
granted in consequence that, after paying all the war charges, 
there would be a respectable surplus. But it was presently 
discovered that the estimates fell far short of the real outlay, 
even before the last series of operations in which Sir F. Roberts 
has won a distinguished name were begun. It is probable that 
the cost of the Afghan war must be finally computed at more 
than three times the estimate accepted in the spring. 

The amount of the assistance to be given to the Indian 
finances has not yet been determined, nor has the form of the 
grant been indicated, but Mr. Gladstone has admitted that some 
such aid is due and must be given. A strict economy has been 
since enforced throughout the whole of the Indian administra- 
tion, and the Commission which has investigated the state of the 
native army will probably report with a view to effecting a 
saving of public money. The vigilance of the Indian Govern- 
ment has been occupied by threatening movements in many 
parts of Asia. Peace has been preserved with Burmah in spite 
of constant provocations. The imminent war between Russia 
and China was averted, it was believed, by the influence which 
Colonel Gordon had exerted at Pekin. Russia has refrained for 
this or some other reason from pressing hard upon the Tekke 
Turcomans, against whom, however, elaborate preparations are 
being made by General Skobeleff. The outbreak of the Kurds, 


which, at one time seriously menaced Persia, has gradually 

South Africa at the beginning of the year enjoyed the tran- 
quillity that had been dearly purchased by the wars in Kaflfraria 
and Zululand. The Boers of the Transvaal continued to protest 
against the annexation, though they had been warned that the 
act was irrevocable. Natal was at peace and recovering pros- 
perity. In the Cape Colony Sir Bartle Frere was retained in 
power by Mr. Gladstone's Government, although Lord Kimberley 
had joined in Sir M. Hicks-Beach's censure of his rash policy 
towards Cetywayo, on the ground that he was the fittest person 
to carry through the project of confederation to which Mr. 
Sprigg's Ministry was supposed to be pledged. The Cape 
Parliament, however, would have nothing to do with confedera- 
tion, Mr. Sprigg acquiesced in that decision without much con- 
cern, and the Home Government, already hard pressed in this 
direction by the majority of its followers, recalled Sir Bartle 
Frere. The Ministry and Parliament at the Cape showed the 
same headstrong disregard for public opinion in the mother 
country by insisting upon the disarmament of the Basuto nation 
in the teeth of the warnings of Sir Garnet Wolseley and of the 
arguments of the Colonial Office. The result has been a serious 
rebellion, which the colony has undertaken to put down by its 
own strength, but which has hitherto baffled the efforts of a 
volunteer army of over 12,000 men, ably led by skilful British 

The Boers, encouraged by the ill-success of the British arms, 
and by the impatience of South African disturbances, which was 
visibly affecting the public mind at home, have lately risen in 
insurrection at Heidelberg, proclaiming the Transvaal a Kepublic, 
with Mr. Kriiger as President The defeat of the British force 
by the insurgents, with considerable loss of life, gives a serious 
character to this unfortunate renewal of troubles. It is not 
known how far the movement has spread, or what forces it com- 
mands, but in the presence of the permanent native danger it 
must be looked upon as formidable. 

Colonial history has otherwise been uneventful. In Victoria 
there have been two successive changes of Ministry. The failure 
of Mr. Berry's Eeform Bill had discredited the Democratic 
party, and an appeal to the constituencies early in the year 
placed Mr. Berry in a minority. The majority, however, was 



split up into sections, agreeing only in hostility to Mr. Berry. 
It was found impossible to unite them aU in support of the 
Constitutional Cabinet formed by Mr. Service. The Roman 
Catholic members deserted Mr, Service when his Reform Bill 
was produced, and Mr. Berry returned to power in the summer 
a wiser man and the leader of a weaker party. He has not 
since ventured to advocate the pUbiscite or any other revolu- 
tionary innovation, and he has avoided occasions of quarrel with 
the Upper House. Politics in Victoria attracted far less atten- 
tion than the capture and trial of the Kelly gang of bushrangers, 
which had long successfully defied the law. Towards the close 
of the year the Melbourne Exhibition was opened with a success 
of which the colonists are justly proud. 

The United States have passed through the inevitable agita- 
tions of a Presidential year, but with the least amount of general 
disturbance conceivable. The winter and spring were spent by 
both the Republicans and the Democrats in intrigue and organ- 
isation. General Grant was the favourite candidate with the 
majority of the Republican wire-pullers, while Mr. Blaine came 
very close after him. But at the Chicago Convention it was 
found that neither General Grant nor Mr. Blaine could com- 
mand a majority of the votes of the delegates assembled, and 
after between thirty and forty ballots the choice fell upon 
General Garfield, Senator from Ohio, who had scarcely been 
previously mentioned. Mr. Garfield proved a good candidate, 
prudent and reticent, but withal straightforward. The Demo- 
cratic Convention at Cincinnati selected General Hancock, an 
able Union soldier, as the party champion. 

No new or disturbing issues were raised during the contest. 
Practically the electors had to determine whether the short- 
comings of the Republicans were serious enough to demand their 
dismissal, and whether the Democrats could be trusted to do 
any better. On the former point the Republicans were protected 
by the popular satisfaction with the management of the finances 
and the revival of trade. The Democrats, through their coquetry 
with inflationists and repudiationists, had to blame themselves for 
letting the confidence of the country slip away from them. At 
the elections in November the Republican ticket triumphed, 
carrying a great majority of the State votes. The issue was 
decided mainly by the loss of New York State to the Democrats, 
in consequence of internal feuds and scandals. The continuance 


of the Kepublican Government in the control of the executive 
power is likely to benefit the public credit. There is no longer 
any serious danger that the currency will be tampered with, and 
Secretary Sherman's scheme for refunding at 3 per cent is certain 
to be carried out. The Congress which will begin its term in 
March next will be in the hands of the Republican party. 

A question which had obstructed the development of good 
feeling between this country and the United States has been 
placed in train for settlement since Lord Granville's accession to 
office. Lord Salisbury and Mr. Evarts had been unable to come 
to an agreement with respect to the Fortune Bay Fishery dispute. 
The former repudiated Mr. Evarts' contention that the American 
right to fish under the Treaty of Washington " in common with 
British subjects " was absolutely unlimited by any rules or laws 
binding on the British. But he also refused to grant compensa- 
tion for the outrages undoubtedly perpetrated by the Newfound- 
landers. Lord Granville, while declining as firmly as Lord 
Salisbury to admit Mr. Evarts' interpretation of the treaty, 
has ofi'ered compensation for the admitted illegal acts, and pro- 
posed to take counsel with the representatives of the American 
fishing interest with respect to the revision of the existing rules 
if it can be shown that they press unfairly. From President 
Hayes' Message to Congress it appears that these offers are 
satisfactory to the United States. Domestic and foreign politics, 
perhaps, attracted less attention among Americans during the 
year than the sensational fast of Dr. Tanner and the visit of 
Mdlle. Sarah Bernhardt. 

The influence of the United States Government has failed to 
settle the basis of peace between Chili and Peru, and the war on 
the west coast of South America still drags its slow length along. 
A threatened disruption of the Argentine Republic seems to 
have been averted by a compromise, which once more secures to 
Buenos Ayres the position of the national capital. But neither 
wars nor revolutions are likely to exercise so great an influence 
over the future of the New World as the Panama Canal scheme, 
for which M. de Lesseps has at length conquered the attention 
and to some extent the confidence of speculative capitalists both 
in Europe and in the United States. 

The social character of the year at home took its bent from 
the political crisis. Interest in foreign affairs generally waned. 
The general election and the prolongation of the session gave 


the spur to party feeling. A more generous sentiment was 
stirred by Mr. Gladstone's illness in tlie autumn. The published 
accounts of his health were scanned with feverish eagerness by 
people of every class and party, and his cruise around the British 
Islands during his convalescence was watched with the kindliest 

We have not to chronicle so many terrible disasters to 
human life as in former years, though the Kisca and Pen-y- 
Graig colliery explosions and some bad railway accidents on our 
most important lines remind us that we live in the midst of 
perils. On the Continent repeated shocks of earthquake have 
devastated Agram and the surrounding districts of Croatia. 
There were an unusual number of volcanic and electrical dis- 
turbances in different parts of Europe. But nothing occurred 
in that quarter of the globe to surpass in horror the fearful 
landslip at Nynee Tal in the Himalayas. 

Germany has been moved with pride at the completion of 
the Cathedral of Cologne, which was celebrated with great pomp 
and rejoicing in the presence of the Emperor, but with marked 
indifference on the part of the Roman Catholic Church. In 
Austria the centenary of Joseph II. has been suspected of a 
political arrihe pens^e in the interests of " Germanism." France 
has celebrated the anniversary of the destruction of the Bastile 
as a testimony to the crowning of the Republican edifice. 

Few remarkable trials will be remembered in connection with 
this year, though the prosecutions under the Public Worship 
Act which ,^have led to the imprisonment of Mr. Pelham Dale 
and Mr. Enraght have caused intense excitement among a section 
of Churchmen. 

The proposal to erect a monument to Prince Louis Bonaparte 
in Westminster Abbey aroused so violent an opposition that, 
after a heated Parliamentary debate. Dean Stanley withdrew his 
permission and the project was abandoned. Bitter feeling of a 
different kind was generated by a quarrel between the governors 
and the medical staff of Guy's Hospital, the latter contending 
that their authority over the nurses was challenged and im- 
paired. The governors have hitherto had their own way, but 
the hospital has at once lost credit as a medical school and 
efiBciency as an institution for relieving the sick poor. 

The loss of the Atalanta, a sister ship of the unfortunate 
Eurydice, has been the subject of an official inquiry. Another 


investigation of the same kind showed that the bursting of the 
Thunderer's gun was due to double loading ; but the whole 
question of our heavy ordnance has been thrown into doubt by 
recent controversies, and the appointment of an impartial Com- 
mission to examine into the matter has been promised by the 
War Office and the Admiralty. 

The obituary of the year does not include many names of 
the first rank. We have already mentioned the death of the 
Empress of Russia. Among English statesmen one or two well- 
known personages passed away. Lord Stratford de Eedcliffe 
had, since the early years of the century, been powerful and 
conspicuous as a diplomatist, and had been identified with the 
long ascendency of this country in the counsels of Turkey. He 
had not survived his fame, but at a patriarchal age he saw the 
events in which he had taken a leading part becoming matters 
of history, while new conditions and combinations were arising 
with which his masterful force of character would not have 
been fitted to deal. 

Lord Hampton, better remembered as Sir John Pakington, 
who died at the age of eighty, was thrice a Cabinet Minister. He 
was one of those country gentlemen without official experience 
who, after the rupture between the Protectionists and Peelites, 
threw themselves, as Lord Beaconsfield narrates in Endymion, 
gallantly into the gap and accepted the most responsible posts 
under Lord Derby in 1852 before they had even taken their 
seats as Privy Councillors. Sir John Pakington's official career 
was respectable ; he administered successively the Colonial 
Office, the Admiralty, and the War Department without dis- 
credit, in spite of the difficulties of government without the 
support of a Parliamentary majority. When the Conservatives 
at length came back triumphantly to power in 1874, Sir John 
Pakington had earned his discharge from duty. He was raised 
to the peerage, and in the following year was appointed First 
Civil Service Commissioner. 

Another former Conservative official, Sir Stephen Cave, whose 
report on the finances of Egypt in 1876 opened a new chapter 
of Egyptian history, has also passed away. 

By far the most illustrious name in the national necrology 
is that of the great writer who chose to be known to the world 
as George Eliot. Of the character of her mind and of the 
quality of her literary powers we have spoken too lately to 


dwell at length upon them here. It is enough to say that in 
the whole range of English literature there are not more than 
three or four names which deserve to be placed above hers. In 
the annals of the world probably no woman equalled her, certainly 
none surpassed her, in that greatness which defies definition and 
which we call genius. 

The past year has been peculiarly fatal to eminent lawyers. 
Sir Alexander Cockburn was one of the most brilliant among 
all the eminent men who have " sat in the seat of Holt and 
Mansfield." As Lord Chief Justice of England during one-and- 
twenty years he occupied a large space in the public eye. His 
eloquence as a speaker and as a writer, his literary accomplish- 
ments, and his knowledge of the world made him something 
more than a distinguished judge, and his peculiar place upon 
the English bench will not be easily filled. His name will be 
associated with many remarkable events, political and forensic ; 
with the defence of Lord Palmerston's foreign policy in 1850, 
with the Hopwood case, with the prosecution of Palmer, with 
the questions arising out of the application of martial law in 
Jamaica, with the Alabama arbitration at Geneva, and with the 
Tichborne trial. 

Sir Fitzroy Kelly, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, has also 
passed away at the age of eighty-two ; and Lord Justice Thesiger 
has been cut off in the prime of life. 

The judicial rearrangements following these vacancies have 
led to the elevation of Lord Coleridge to the Chief Justiceship 
of England, and the abolition, if Parliament consents, of the 
Chief Judgeships in the Common Pleas and Exchequer Divisions 
of the High Court. 

The legal profession has also lost Sir William Erie, formerly 
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, who had, however, retired 
from the Bench many years ago ; Sir James Colvile, one of the 
ablest and most useful members of the Judicial Committee of 
the Privy Council ; Mr. Locke, Q.C., better known in the House 
of Commons than in the Courts ; Serjeant Parry, one of the 
ablest of advocates in criminal cases ; and Dr. Kenealy, whose 
wilful and wasted career closed in misfortune and obscurity. 

The Nestor of the British army, Field-Marshal Sir Charles 

Yorke, Constable of the Tower ; Mr. Tom Taylor, a dramatist 

and a critic, whose reputation was founded on solid work ; Mr. 

E. M. Barry, R.A., an architect not unworthy of his father's 



name ; Mr. E. W. Cooke, E.A., one of the ornaments of the 
British school of painting ; Mr. Frank Buckland, the naturalist, 
whose unpretentious labours as Commissioner of Fisheries will 
bear fruit after him ; and Mr. G. F. Grace, the " Leviathan " of 
the cricket field, are numbered among our national losses in 
various fields of fame. 

In France death has been busy among public personages of 
very different types. M. Jules Favre, one of the greatest of 
French orators and one of the most luckless of politicians, is 
gone ; so is the Due de Gramont, who, unfortunately for his own 
repute and for the interests of his country, was Minister for 
Foreign Affairs during the disastrous quarrel with Germany in 
1870 ; and Granier de CaBsagnac, the apologist and historian of 
the coup (Tetat, and the father of the bellicose editor of the 
Pays ; and Madame Thiers, the wife of the most illustrious of 
modern French statesmen ; and Gustave Flaubert, the author of 
Madame Bovary and Salammhd ; and Jacques Offenbach, the 
most popular of composers of houffe music. 

Italy has suffered a more serious loss than any of these in 
the death of Baron Ricasoli, one of the founders of Italian unity 
and constitutionalism. 


The year 1881, though not distinguished by wars or revolu- 
tionary changes of the first magnitude, presents a record of 
memorable and important events in almost every country in the 
world. At home the Irish difficulty has grown to the most 
formidable proportions ; British agriculture, already sorely 
smitten, has had to bear the keen disappointment of another 
unfavourable harvest. France has been drawn into the perilous 
labyrinth of the Tunisian expedition, while in her domestic 
politics the Kepublic has lost much of the character for modera- 
tion which made her, in M. Thiers' phrase, the Government 
that "divides the least." In Germany, as in France, and also 
in Holland, in Belgium, in Spain, in Hungary, and in Bulgaria, 
public opinion has been agitated by general elections ; political 
feuds have been embittered, and the dominance of Prince 
Bismarck threatened. 

Though the different countries of Europe have had their 
internal troubles, the international relations of the great Powers 
have been more tranquil and easy than at any time since the 
battle of Sadowa. Diplomacy, indeed, has been at work upon 
its Penelope's web, a task which often turns out to be revolu- 
tionary rather than conservative. But hitherto there has been 
no serious movement of national jealousies ; the statiis quo has 
been preserved in Europe, and there is no greater reason at 
present to expect a disturbance of the peace than there has been 
at any period during the lifetime of this generation. The 
activity of Russia has been paralysed by the shock of the Czar's 
murder, which, in truth, has warned all civilised nations of the 
violent and destructive impulses that slumber under the super- 
ficial inanities of Socialism. 


The New World, happily free from these anxieties, has been 
saddened by the assassination of President Garfield, a crime, 
however, which had no political bearing. The Republics of 
South America are still in their chronic state of conflict and un- 
settlement. Turning to the East, we can rejoice, at any rate, 
that the peace has been preserved. Even in South Africa a 
painful and discreditable chapter of history has been closed, and 
we must hope that the sacrifices which this country has made 
will purchase deliverance from further embarrassments and 

Upon the whole, the year that is closing leaves us with few 
pressing reasons for alarm, and with some ground for hoping 
that not only this country, but the civilised world, has entered 
once more upon an era of prosperity and repose. The. President 
of the Board of Trade, in his speech at the Carpenters' Hall a 
few weeks ago, was able to appeal to the ofiicial returns of his 
department as showing that " the enormous volume of our trade 
continues to roll on in ever-increasing and swelling flood." The 
revival of commercial prosperity has quickened speculation, and 
at no time within the past five-and-thirty years have projectors 
and promoters been so busy. Their efforts have been seconded 
by the high prices which Consols and all other forms of sound 
investment have reached and kept. 

The disastrous weather of the preceding year had depressed 
not only the agricultural interest, but the entire trade of the 
kingdom, and postponed the commercial and industrial revival 
confidently and eagerly looked for towards the end of 1880. 
The vicissitudes of our changeable climate have been rarely more 
trying. Severe frost, dense fogs, and heavy snowfalls — that of 
the 1 8th of January being without parallel in recent years — were 
followed by repeated and violent storms. Afterwards came a 
period of settled, though bleak, weather, with a prevailing dry 
east wind, not unfavourable to spring farming operations. It 
became at length possible to clean the fields, and the com- 
paratively backward crops were quickened in July by a fierce 
and almost tropical sun, which encouraged the hope of an early 
and abundant yield. But an unprecedented downpour of rain 
in August covered this fair prospect with the deepest gloom. 
The harvest was almost ruined in many parts of the country, 
and though the long-continued wet weather was not unfavour- 
able to the growth of grass and green crops, the loss of the 


anticipated yield of corn was not adequately counterbalanced 
by other advantages. The remainder of the year was chiefly 
remarkable for a succession of gales and storms of wellnigh un- 
exampled severity, which not only did much damage to shipping, 
but once more covered the low-lying lands in this country with 

The adverse climatic influences of the year bore hard upon 
the agricultural interest, already severely tried by the bad 
seasons of 1879 and 1880. Many farmers had to leave their 
holdings broken men, and those who remained to struggle on, 
hoping for better times, were generally unable to meet their 
obligations in full. Large remissions of rent were freely granted 
by the majority of landlords, though the unexpected falling 
away of income pressed cruelly on families of middle rank. In 
the prevailing discontent it was natural that the sufferers should 
turn eagerly towards promises of relief, however vague and 
shadowy. The revival of Protectionism under a thin disguise 
had been carried far even before the disappointment about the 
harvest. It was stimulated by the delay in the recovery of 
business and by the avowed rejection of free trade on the 
Continent and in America. The negotiations for the renewal 
of the French Commercial Treaty dragged their slow length 
along without result, and many British manufacturing interests 
were agitated by the fear of being " sacrificed." 

In this excitement the cry of " fair trade " was loudly raised. 
No exact and generally accepted definition of " fair trade " was 
put forth, but the notion that without the odium of naked pro- 
tection it would be possible to keep out foreign competition, at 
least until foreign nations admitted our goods on reasonable 
terms, seemed likely to find favour among some of the indus- 
trial as well as the agricultural classes. A few seats were lost 
by the Liberals during the session, the contests for which were 
thought to be influenced by the " fair trade " cry. The Coventry 
and Preston elections, especially, gave hope to the " fair traders," 
and a National Fair Trade League was founded, in which Mr. 
Ecroyd, the Conservative member for Preston, took a leading 
part. No prominent politicians, however, identified themselves 
with the movement, and the difficulty of framing a plan which 
would at once satisfy farmers and manufacturers soon became 
apparent. Fair trade was laughed out of Parliament, and 
would, perhaps, have fallen at once into oblivion if the harvest 


had not been disappointing. In tlie autumn the catch-word was 
used effectively at some bye-elections, particularly in North 
Durham and North Lincolnshire. Mr. Lowther, indeed, who 
won the latter seat, did not quibble with " fair trade " at all, but 
declared boldly in favour of protecting British agriculture. 

For a while it appeared as if the Conservative leaders were 
placed in doubt by the evidence of popular feeling ; Lord 
Salisbury pronounced for a " war of tariffs," should it appear 
necessary, and even Sir Stafford Northcote used ambiguous 
language on more than one occasion. But the effervescence sub- 
sided ; cautious Conservatives hastened to declare that they had 
no desire to tamper with the free trade system, and wished only, 
as every one must wish, to have its benefits extended all the 
world over. Little has of late been heard of the " fair trade " 
movement, and at no recent election have candidates been 
tempted to rest their claims upon their readiness to support dis- 
guised protection. It is to be regretted that the proof thus 
given of the loyalty of the English people to free trade has, as 
yet, had no visible effect on the opinion of foreign countries. 
The treaty negotiations with France are to be again renewed, 
with the hope of getting a fair, compromise accepted ; but, in 
spite of M. Gambetta's free trade views, French Protectionism is 
still powerful and obstinate. In the United States the drift of 
political events is plainly away from, and not towards, the re- 
moval of duties on imports. 

The domestic politics of the year have been moulded and 
coloured throughout by the predominant influence of the Irish 
question. At the beginning of the year the opening of Parlia- 
ment a month before the usual time had been arranged, and the 
critical situation of affairs was no longer denied, even by ex- 
treme Radicals. The character of the "reign of terror" 
established in Ireland by the Land League was powerfully 
exhibited in the speeches made by Mr. Forster in the House of 
Commons when moving for the introduction of the Coercion 
Bills, while the extracts from the speeches and writings of the 
leading Land Leaguers, read at the trial of Mr. Parnell and his 
associates in Dublin for conspiracy to prevent the payment of 
rents, showed clearly by what audaciously perverse teaching the 
Irish peasantry had been demoralised. This trial terminated, as 
had been generally anticipated, in a disagreement of the jury. 
The proceedings of the Land League were for a time obscured 


by the vicissitudes of the Parliamentary struggle, in the first 
place over the Coercion Bills, and afterwards over the Land 

It is unnecessary here to enter at length into these and other 
questions included in the Parliamentary history of the session of 
1881. We may, however, remark that the scope and even the 
direction of Mr. Gladstone's promised Land Bill remained in 
doubt almost down to the time of its introduction. The Report 
of Lord Bessborough's Commission had, indeed, established some 
points upon which there was an approach to general agreement 
among Liberals, and no determined spirit of opposition among 
Tories. It was recognised that cases of rack-renting in Ireland 
were few, and stress was mainly specially laid on the contention 
that what was needed was " security." The prevention of future 
increases of rent rather than an attack upon existing exorbitant 
rents was set forth as the principal object. The Commissioners 
reported that where rents had remained undisturbed for twenty 
years they might be accepted as " fair " in the absence of any 
peculiar circumstances. 

The discussions upon the Land Bill turned in the first in- 
stance upon the same points. It was argued that the "fair 
rent " clause as originally framed would compel the Land Court 
to reduce rents generally throughout Ireland, by cutting the 
tenant's interest out of the value of the fee-simple ; but this 
interpretation was repudiated by the Government, and the 
settlement was left to the discretion of the Court. The Court 
was acknowledged to be the turning-point of the legislative 
scheme, but until after the Land Act became law public atten- 
tion was not directed to the important part played by the Sub- 
Commissioners. The jurisdiction at first intended to be given 
to the County Court Judges was transferred to these officials, 
whose appointments were not communicated to Parliament. It 
is not, therefore, surprising that the Parliamentary debates on 
the Land Bill and the controversies outside during the same 
phase of the question appear irrelevant when compared with the 
present aspects of the Irish agrarian difficulty. 

So far, however, as the reception of the Bill in Ireland was 
concerned, its drift and details were of little consequence. The 
party of agitation were determined not to acquiesce in any 
settlement, and they laboured hard to convince the people that 
more was to be gained by adhering to the Land League than by 


accepting the utmost that Parliament could give. The intro- 
duction of the Coercion Bills had for a time checked outrage, 
but the Land League organisation was perfected, the tenants 
generally refused to pay rent, and the landlords, despairing of 
obtaining either money or land by process of law, were for the 
most part content to wait till the promise of a plenteous harvest 
was realised. This was the case in Ireland — though not in 
Great Britain — and, in fact, the legitimate profits of Irish farm- 
ing during 1880 and 1881, while the people " held the harvest " 
and refused in large numbers to pay rent, exceeded those of the 
most prosperous times within the memory of living men. 

But the violence of the agrarian agitators did not abate ; 
they seized upon the Coercion Act, at first put in force with the 
utmost leniency and consideration by Mr. Forster, as a pretext 
for new incitements to resistance, and for redoubled, insults 
addressed to the Government and the English people. Under 
this malign influence the improvement which was the imme- 
diate effect of the introduction of the Coercion Bill gave place 
to a serious recrudescence of agrarian crime precisely at the 
moment when the Ministry and the Liberal party were straining 
every nerve to do what they believed to be full and final justice 
to the claims of the Irish tenantry. The Executive had re- 
frained as long as possible from using its powers against any of 
the Parliamentary representatives of the Irish people, but at last 
Mr. Dillon's outrageous language at Clonmel made his arrest 
absolutely necessary. He called upon the tenantry forcibly to 
resist the execution of legal process for the assertion of the land- 
lords' rights, and to punish by social excommunication any 
persons either setting the law in motion or acquiescing in the 
landlords' claims. Other important arrests followed — though 
Mr. Dillon was subsequently released on the ground of failing 
health — and a certain measure of caution was thenceforward to 
be observed, at least down to the close of the session, in the 
public utterances of the Land League chiefs. 

When, however, the Land Bill had become law, the League 
and those whose power and position were dependent on the 
League had to deal with the opinion of the Irish Americans. 
It became evident that without the pecuniary aid of the Irish 
in the United States the organisation of the League must soon 
collapse. No doubt could be entertained that the Irish Ameri- 
cans would be seriously displeased if, as the result of all their 


contributions and agitations, they saw the tenantry in Ireland 
generally accepting the Land Act as a settlement, or even 
acquiescing in it as an instalment of their due. The bulk of 
the moderate Home Eulers, and even many identified with the 
extreme section, had declared in favour of the Act, and Mr. 
Parnell himself hesitated for a time. He was plainly afraid to 
pronounce against the Act decisively, lest he should find that 
the majority of the tenants had made up their minds not to go 
along with him ; and he was deterred from approving it, even 
with qualifications, as well by his personal antipathy to a rival 
policy, practically in possession of the field, as by his enforced 
dependence upon Irish-American support. 

Throughout the year the most prominent Land Leaguers had 
shown a determination to provide a second string for their bow ; 
they had laid increasing stress on the political aspect of the 
agitation, on its value as a step towards the separation of Ire- 
land from England, and on its success in completing the ruin of 
the " English garrison." But the ferocious temper displayed by 
the Irish in the United States exacted a more practical and im- 
mediate tribute than the revival of the Nationalist war-cries. 
The abominable "policy of dynamite" was proclaimed in 
America by 0' Donovan Kossa and some newspapers recognised 
as the organs of the Land League beyond the Atlantic. The 
boast that the explosion which destroyed Her Majest/s ship 
Doterel was the work of Irish- American disciples of O'Donovan 
Rossa and his confederates had probably no foundation in fact, 
but attempts were made to injure the Liverpool To-wti Hall, the 
Salford Barracks, and the Mansion House in London, which 
could only be explained as imperfect and experimental applica- 
tions of the "dynamite gospel" The discovery of "infernal 
machines," like those used in the Bremerhaven atrocity, on 
board some of the ocean-going steamers was still more startling, 
and in several places in England and Scotland concealed stores 
of arms and other evidences of an extensive Fenian conspiracy 
were brought to light. 

As directed against the Imperial Government these move- 
ments of Irish disaflTection were not really formidable, but they 
showed what the forces were which impelled Mr. Parnell to 
keep up the Land League agitation after the Land Act had be- 
come law. The close of the session was followed by renewed 
and aggravated reports of agrarian outrage in Ireland, and 


though the Ulster tenantry seemed ready to accept the Act, the 
appeals of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy and other well-known 
" popular politicians " not of the Land League type were openly 
treated with contempt in other parts of the country. A vacancy 
created in the county of Tyrone by Mr. Litton's appointment as 
a member of the Land Commission gave Mr. Parnell an oppor- 
tunity of declaring war upon the Land Act and of announcing 
the intention of the Land League to invade and conquer Ulster. 
The attempt was not successful. Mr. Parnell's candidate had at 
no time any chance of election, but he did not even succeed in 
detaching so many votes from the Liberal party as to give the 
Conservatives a majority. The tenant farmers, it was plain, 
voted, irrespective of creed or party, on the side of the Land 

During this campaign Mr. Parnell distinctly formulated his 
new doctrine, designed to reduce the Land Act to an absurdity, 
that justice required the reduction of the total rental of Ireland 
from some .£17,000,000 sterling annually to between two 
and three millions, or to the " prairie value " of the land — that 
is, the amount it might be supposed to have -been worth in its 
original unreclaimed state. This impossible standard of " fair 
rent " was set before the people in order that any reductions of 
rent, however large, by the Land Courts might be received with 
disappointment. It was from this point of view that the policy 
of the Land League was declared at a " National Convention " 
held in Dublin in September ; the tenantry were warned not to 
rush into the Courts, but to await the decisions on " test cases " 
which Mr. Healy and others were engaged in working up. Mr. 
Parnell took care to explain, for the benefit of his American 
allies, that in the opinion of the League the decisions of the 
Courts would be unsatisfactory, while he sedulously impressed 
upon his Irish followers the necessity of adhering to the 
principle of " prairie value," and confidently promised that the 
League would secure for them the practical recognition of that 
principle and the speedy destruction of " landlordism." At the 
same time he menaced the farmers with a " labourers' move- 
ment." Some slight efforts were made to withstand the spread 
of this " gospel of public plunder," as Mr. Gladstone emphatically 
named it at Leeds ; the Eoman Catholic bishops, in particular, 
joined, with one or two exceptions, in the Maynooth declaration 
in favour of the Land Act, but without avail. Public opinion 


in Ireland was either cowed or intoxicated by the daring pro- 
posals of the League, and as the time arrived when the Land 
Act was to come into operation it became more and more doubt- 
ful whether its working would not be paralysed, if events were 
allowed to take their course, by an organised and determined 

The Prime Minister, during his visit to Leeds in the first 
week of October, had used language which could bear only one 
meaning. The question, he said, had come to be simply this, 
" whether law or lawlessness must rule in Ireland " ; the Irish 
people must not be deprived of the means of taking advantage 
of the Land Act by force or fear of force. He warned the party 
of disorder that " the resources of civilisation were not yet ex- 

A few days later Mr. Gladstone, speaking at the Guildhall, 
amid enthusiastic cheers, was able to announce that the long- 
delayed blow had fallen. Mr. ParneU was arrested in Dublin 
under the Coercion Act, and his arrest was followed by those 
of Mr. Sexton, Mr. Dillon, Mr. O'Kelly, and other prominent 
leaders of the agitation. The warnings of the Government had 
been met at first with derision and defiance, and the earlier 
arrests were furiously denounced ; but the energy and persist- 
ence of the Government soon began to make an impression, and 
the remaining organisers of the agitation bethought them of 
securing their personal safety. A Parthian shot was fired in the 
issue of a manifesto, purporting to be signed, not only by the 
" suspects " in Kilmainham, but also by Davitt, a convict in Port- 
land Prison, which adjured the tenantry to pay no rent what- 
ever until the Government had done penance for its tyranny 
and released the victims of British despotism. This open in- 
citement to defiance of legal authority and repudiation of legal 
right was instantly met by the Irish Executive in a resolute 
spirit. On the 20th of October a proclamation was issued de- 
claring the League to be " an illegal and criminal association, 
intent on destroying the obligation of contracts and subverting 
law," and announcing that its operations would thenceforward 
be forcibly suppressed, and those taking part in them held 

There was for some time good reason to hope that these 
vigorous measures would be sufficient to restore the supremacy 
of the law and to induce the tenantry to take up their position 


loyally under the shelter of the Land Act. Outbreaks of riot- 
ing in Dublin, Limerick, and a few other places were promptly 
and easily put down, and many signs were visible of a reaction 
against the reckless counsels of the " no rent " manifesto. Mr. 
Gray's proposal to confer the freedom of the city of Dublin on 
Mr. Parnell was rejected. Archbishop Croke, who had long 
been identified with the extremest views of the League, pub- 
lished a letter condemning the refusal of rents. 

The Land Commission was opened by Mr. Justice O'Hagan 
and his colleagues on the very day on which the proclamation 
suppressing the League appeared, and, after a short delay, 
applications for fixing a fair rent were received in great num- 
bers. Four Sub- Commissions were sent round to hear these 
applications in the first instance, the Chief Commissioners re- 
serving to themselves the settlement of points of law and pro- 
cedure and the determination of questions relating to leases 
But, though some 50,000 tenants applied to the Court before 
the close of the sittings, the great majority still held aloof, and 
the payment of rent was very generally refused. As the year 
wore on and the decisions of the Sub-Commis'sioners were pub- 
lished, this attitude of the tenants assumed a most serious aspect. 
It showed an apparent determination to stand by the Kilmain- 
ham manifesto, to make " prairie value " the standard of rent, 
to starve out the landlords, to confront the law with passive 
resistance, supported by secret outrage, and, in short, to rely 
rather upon the lawless promises of the Land League than the 
substantial advantages of the Land Act. 

In Ulster this was not so ; the Land Act was all but uni- 
versally accepted, and the lesson of the Tyrone election was 
repeated with greater emphasis in the county of Derry, where 
the seat vacated by Mr. Law, on his nomination as Lord 
O'Hagan's successor in the Chancellorship, was filled by the 
Solicitor- General, Mr. Porter. But in the three Southern 
provinces the " no rent " policy was adopted by great numbers 
of the tenants, and even those who went into Court were pre- 
pared, as Mr. Parnell's mouthpieces boasted, to fall back upon 
it, if not satisfied with the reduced rents fixed by the Sub- 
Commissioners. The reductions, indeed, seemed large and 
sweeping enough to satisfy any reasonable claims, and Mr. 
Porter's friends in Derry thought them so attractive that they 
placarded them as proof of the benefits conferred on the tenants 


by the Act. Not only in Ulster, but in Munster and Connaught, 
rents were generally reduced from 20 to 30 per cent, and in 
many cases mucb more. Tenancies on old estates, where rents 
had been paid twenty, thirty, or even fifty years, were as freely 
handled as new tenancies on properties purchased in the Landed 
Estates Court 

The landlords were struck with dismay, and vehement pro- 
tests were made on their behalf. It was maintained that when 
the Land Bill was debated in Parliament Ministers had asserted 
that no general reduction of existing rents was possible, and that 
great numbers of tenants would be glad to make amicable 
arrangements with their landlords, knowing that if they went 
into Court their rents would be raised. These forecasts, it was 
urged, had not been realised, nor had the landlords received any 
incidental advantages under the new law ; rents were even less 
readily paid or recovered than before, and while old remedies 
were taken away no new ones were practically accessible. It 
was argued, further, that no one had imagined the practical 
settlement of fair rents would be entrusted to persons of the 
standing of the Sub-Commissioners, whose numbers had been 
multiplied as the business increased. The answer made on be- 
half of the Government was that with respect to the decisions 
of the Sub-Commissioners no final judgment could be formed, 
inasmuch as they could be carried on appeal before the Central 
Commission, while so far as the enforcement of the law was 
concerned, every effort would be made not only to stamp out 
" boycotting " by prosecutions and arrests under the Coercion 
Acts, but by employing military force to aid in carrying out 

The initiative, however, in proceeding for recovery of rent 
was left of necessity to the landlords, and the organs of the 
Land League, which still continued to preach the "gospel of 
plunder," encouraged the tenants to hope that, the Property 
Defence Association and similar organisations of the landlords 
being reduced to bankruptcy, the refusal to pay rents must soon 
achieve its own practical acceptance. In this position of 
affairs an appeal was made to the liberality of the British nation, 
and a committee was formed at the Mansion House, under the 
presidency of the Lord Mayor, to aid Irish landlords in the 
assertion of their rights by legal process, and in measures to 
prevent the subsequent defeat of those rights by " boycotting " 


or otherwise. The " no rent " policy is still upheld by secret 
combination and terrorism, but a distinct improvement is 
marked in the conduct of the juries at the Winter Assizes, 
where a large number of convictions in agrarian cases have been 
obtained. It appears that if the constabulary, who are to be 
reinforced by drafts from the Army Keserve, are able to effect 
arrests, and if prosecutions are vigorously pressed by the legal 
authorities, the fears or ill-will of jurors cannot be now regarded 
as the chief obstacle in the path of justice. 

The condition of Ireland furnished material for an extra- 
ordinary succession of political speeches during the recess, in 
very few of which were any practical suggestions for dealing 
with the actual difficulty to be found. Attack and apology 
drifted into recriminations of ever-increasing bitterness. Parlia- 
ment had been prorogued with a general sense of relief after a 
long and weary session, but exasperation as well as exhaustion 
soured the political temper. The conflict between the two 
Houses had whetted the zeal of party, and politicians reduced 
to silence by obstruction were eager to have their say at last. 
The leaders of parties, as well as the rank and file, kept up a 
constant interchange of speeches. 

The most remarkable episode in this unfruitful campaign 
was Mr. Gladstone's visit to Leeds, where he delivered a series 
of orations scarcely less vigorous than those of the Midlothian 
contest. But even Mr. Gladstone could not overcome the in- 
herent difficulties of the situation. There was no practical issue 
to be debated. The results of the Liberal policy in Ireland 
were, as they still are, involved in doubt, and predictions, 
favourable or unfavourable, were equally unfit to be taken as a 
basis of discussion. The questions to be dealt with in the next 
session were not settled, with the exception of the projected 
revision of the rules of the House of Commons, of which, how- 
ever, Ministers were unable or unwilling to speak, except in 
general terms. 

The speeches of the autumn, therefore, were concerned al- 
most exclusively with the past, and went over ground which 
had been repeatedly traversed in public controversy while 
Parliament was sitting. The original responsibility for the 
dangerous growth of Irish disafi'ection, the manner in which the 
questions arising out of the Treaty of Berlin had been settled, 
the expediency of the abandonment of Candahar and of the retro- 


cession of the Transvaal, were among the battles fought over 
and over on every platform. Some speakers, indeed, went back 
complacently to the issues on which the general election of 1880 
had turned. Others fastened upon isolated statements in the 
utterances of their opponents. Mr. Gladstone's public declara- 
tions on the Irish question, of course, excited interest before the 
blow fell on the Land League, but in general even Ministers had 
to confine themselves to controversial commonplaces. 

On the other side popular curiosity was attracted to Lord 
Salisbury, whose title to succeed Lord Beaconsfield not only as 
leader of the Conservative majority in the House of Lords but 
as chief of the party was on trial. Lord Salisbury's speeches 
at Newcastle and Bristol were full of vigour, though not with- 
out evidence of the faults which adverse critics had discerned in 
his character. Occupying a nominally coequal position, Sir 
Stafford Northcote falls far behind where the Opposition have 
to assume the offensive. For the present, however, the attacks 
of the Opposition have no definite object, and in the opinion of 
many Conservatives Lord Salisbury's energy is a dangerous gift. 
Though the Liberals have lost several seats since the general 
election, and though their majorities, even where they keep 
their ground, are dwindling — a view which the municipal 
elections, even if unimportant in themselves, go far to confirm 
— there is no probability that, were there to be an immediate 
appeal to the country, the Conservatives would be successful. 
In the present state of Ireland especially the Opposition, for 
reasons of party prudence as well as of public interest, must be 
solicitous to avoid administrative responsibilities, and this fact 
paralyses much of the political criticism which, nevertheless, 
has to be produced, in immense quantity, by competitors for the 
favour of provincial audiences. 

While seats have been lost and won, we have to record few 
Ministerial changes. The retirement of the Duke of Argyll 
from the Cabinet in consequence of his disapproval of the Land 
Bill made way for Lord Carlingford's return to office as Lord 
Privy Seal. Mr. Grant Duff, taking the place of the late Mr. 
Adam as Governor of Madras, was succeeded as Under-Secretary 
for the Colonies by Mr. Courtney, previously Under-Secretary 
to the Home Department. But, in the main, the composition 
of the Ministry has not been altered since the beginning of the 
year, nor have any new issues been brought forward in a definite 


and practical shape on which Liberal opinion is likely to be 
divided. The Irish Land Bill, indeed, severely tried the 
allegiance of many, but that enterprise was universally regarded 
as exceptional. 

Among the questions which lie before the Liberal majority 
there are some that can hardly fail to precipitate danger and 
division if extreme views are allowed to prevail. If the strength 
of Liberalism has been consolidated by the encouragement 
which some of its opponents have given to protectionist 
doctrines, the same agricultural depression out of which the 
" fair trade " movement arose has been productive of extravagant 
schemes for settling the land question in Great Britain. Early 
in the recess the extension of the Irish Land Bill to Scotland 
was demanded by the farmers of Aberdeenshire, and a plan of 
legislation produced by the " Farmers' Alliance " in this country 
has claimed the introduction by law of what practically amounts 
to a "joint proprietorship" between landlord and tenant. The 
discussion of the subject, as yet, happily, not here inflamed by 
party passions, has shown that, whatever remedies for agri- 
cultural distress may be needful, the problem- in Great Britain 
differs radically from that in Ireland. Attention has been 
turned to the possibility of relieving the land by the redistribu- 
tion of local burdens. Many questions connected with local 
government in rural districts have also come to the front, and 
Mr. Goschen's speeches on the subject have stimulated thought 
and inquiry. 

The claims of external policy have been overshadowed by the 
Irish question. European affairs were pushed into the back- 
ground. Outside the circle of domestic politics the Transvaal 
war was viewed with the most painful and absorbing interest. 
At the close of last year the insurrection of the Boers had just 
become known in England. When Parliament met it was the 
general and confident expectation, as the language of the Speech 
from the throne proved, that the Queen's authority would be at 
once restored, and that the Boers would yield to the display of 
armed power under Sir George Colley. The event showed that 
the insurgents were determined as well as brave. Having in- 
vested the British garrisons in the Transvaal, they advanced 
into Natal, and Sir George Colley unfortunately attempted, 
with a wholly inadequate force, to dislodge them from a strong 
position at Laing's Nek. He was repulsed with heavy loss, 


and, little more than a week later, without waiting for his re- 
inforcements, he fought another unsuccessful battle, at Ingogo, 
in the vain hope of clearing his communications. 

Sir Evelyn Wood hastened to the front with all the troops 
he could gather, and, with patience and caution, the Boer 
positions would probably have been forced almost bloodlessly. 
Sir George Colley, however, burning to retrieve his credit, 
threw himself, with a small body of troops, upon Majuba Hill, 
whence, as he supposed, he could turn Laing's Nek. The bold 
enterprise was momentarily successful, but the Boers, discover- 
ing their enemy's weakness, attacked in force and stormed the 
hill, driving the British to flight, with terrible slaughter. Sir 
George Colley was among the slain. The colonists of Natal 
were panic-stricken, but Sir Evelyn Wood stood manfully on 
the defensive. It was at once resolved by the Home Govern- 
ment to increase the army in Natal to 15,000 men and to send 
out Sir Frederick Roberts to take the command. Negotiations 
had been opened, however, with the Boers with a view to a 
pacific settlement of differences, and the Cabinet did not con- 
ceive that the reasons in favour of that policy were outweighed 
by the fact that Sir George Colley's imprudence had involved 
his army in disaster. A few days after the storming of Majuba 
Hill, Sir Evelyn Wood concluded an armistice with the 
" Triumvirate " who formed the provisional Government of the 
Boers, and when Sir Frederick Roberts reached the Cape he 
found that the war was over. Peace, indeed, was more than 
once in danger after the armistice ; the younger Boers were 
insubordinate and excited, and the enforced surrender of 
Potchefstroom was justly condemned as a breach of good faith. 

At length, however, hostilities were formally suspended till 
the terms upon which the Boers were to enjoy "self-govern- 
ment" had been settled by a Commission. The Commissioners 
were Sir Hercules Robinson, the Governor of the Cape Colony, 
and Chief Justice de Villiers, with Mr. Brand, President of the 
Orange Free State. The Convention adopted by the Com- 
missioners, reserving to the British Crown a "suzerainty" 
which was made to include control over the foreign relations of 
the Boers and their dealings with the native races, was carried 
out in August, when the Republican Government was placed in 
full possession of the Transvaal. It still remained for the 
" Volksraad " to ratify these arrangements, and a majority of 



the younger Boers were inclined to resist. The objections of 
the Volksraad to the reserved powers of " suzerainty " were met 
by the Imperial Government with a declaration that the Con- 
vention must be accepted in its integrity. Preparations for war 
were ordered in Natal and at home, and Mr. Gladstone spoke in 
firm tones at Leeds. The recalcitrant Boers were not prepared 
to face a renewal of war ; their opposition was waived, and the 
Convention is now in force a? regulating, at least in form, the 
relations between this country and the Transvaal. 

The difficulties of the Government in dealing with South 
African affairs on any general principles of policy have been 
increased by colonial fractiousness and sectional feeling. Mr. 
Sprigg's Ministry at the Cape had become involved in trouble 
through the mismanagement of the Basuto war, which was ended 
by a patched-up and doubtful arrangement, and their advocacy 
of the unpopular confederation scheme gave the Cape Town 
Legislature an opportunity of getting rid of them. During the 
Transvaal quarrel the Dutch population of the Cape Colony 
had shown intense sympathy with their insurgent kinsmen. 
The attitude of the Natal colonists was equally unconciliatory 
and inconsistent with an intercolonial union; they hotly de- 
nounced the Convention with the Boers, and exhibited an 
irrational jealousy of the Home Government in a protest against 
Mr. Sendall's nomination as Lieutenant-Governor. Though in 
this matter Lord Kimberley yielded to the wishes of the 
colonists, the temper shown is most unsatisfactory. At no 
time has there been less prospect of an amicable alliance of the 
South African settlements, subject to the supreme authority of 
the Crown. Fortunately, the danger of a general native war is 
for the present removed. 

In our other colonies we have no such troubles or disasters 
to record. New Zealand, it is true, was thrown into alarm by 
the preaching of a native " prophet," Te Whiti, who succeeded 
in making the Maories believe that he possessed miracle-working 
powers, which he could and would use to expel the British and 
to restore the land to its original owners. The Maories, under 
Te Whiti's influence, began to interfere with the progress of 
settlement on the West Coast, obstructing the opening of roads 
and erecting barriers against the occupation of State lands. The 
Colonial Government hesitated to adopt extreme measures, and 
the Minister of Native Aff'airs in consequence resigned, to be 


recalled some months later when the danger had grown more 
threatening. In November a proclamation was issued warning 
Te Whiti to desist from his incitements to rebellion, and a force 
of 1700 men marched to Parihaka, the centre of disaffection, 
demanding an answer. The "prophet" fell back on silence 
and passive resistance, and his followers seem really to have 
believed that a miracle would be wrought for his deliverance 
and his foes' discomfiture. He was arrested and sent under a 
strong guard to New Plymouth, and his power has been ap- 
parently annulled by the falsification of his predictions. 

The Australian colonies have been pursuing a career of 
steady prosperity, of which they are taking full advantage by 
coming into the Money-market at home as large borrowers. 
Victoria has made relatively the least advance, as this year's 
census proves, which may be due in part to political disturbance 
and in part to the burden of a protective tariff. The former 
cause has been, for a time, removed. The long-pending quarrel 
between the two branches of the Legislature at Melbourne was 
brought to an end by a reasonable measure of compromise, in 
spite of the efforts of Mr. Berry's Ministry to provoke a violent 
crisis. The constitution of the Council was liberalised, but no 
revolutionary changes — such as the plebiscite or the adoption of 
Bills on the vote of one Chamber only — were imported into the 
political system of the colony. Soon afterwards Mr. Berry's 
Ministry was overthrown by a combination of enemies, and Sir 
Bryan O'Loghlen formed a Government, which still subsists. 

In the Dominion of Canada we have to chronicle no political 
events of general interest. The Marquis of Lome's visit to the 
North- West evoked the warmest popular feeling, and there is not 
the least evidence to support the rumours of the American Press 
that a Canadian movement for "independence" is ripening. 
The controversy arising out of the Fortune Bay Fishery claims has 
been settled by an agreement to pay the United States Govern- 
ment £15,000 for the damage inflicted on the American fishing 
fleet by the inhabitants of the Newfoundland coast. 

The departure of the present Administration from the policy 
of Lord Beaconsfield was as marked in India as in South Africa. 
The evacuation of Candahar had been decided in principle 
before Parliament met, and it was not considered that either 
the advance of the Kussians in the Turkoman country or the 
menacing attitude of Ayoob Khan at Herat justified a change of 


view. The subject was discussed in both Houses of Parliament, 
and the Ministry, though of course defeated in the Upper 
House, was supported in the Lower by a majority of 110. In 
April the city of Candahar was placed in the hands of the 
Ameer Abdurrahman's representatives. But the new Govern- 
ment was unpopular among the tribes of Southern Afghanistan, 
and the allegiance of the Ghilzais, on which its stability mainly 
depended, was more than doubtful. Ayoob Khan, who was 
watching and intriguing at Herat, struck boldly and heavily at 
his rival, the Ameer, in July, defeating the army of the latter 
at Karez-i-atta, upon which the Ameer's adherents fled or 
submitted, and Candahar at once received the conqueror. But 
Ayoob's triumph was brief. The Ameer, showing more spirit 
than he had been credited with, led an army southward in 
person, obtaining the support of the Ghilzais, and in September 
shattered the hostile power of his cousin, who fled to Herat and 
thence to Persia. Herat not long after fell into Abdurrahman's 
power, and for the time at least he appears to have succeeded to 
the predominance enjoyed at different times hj Dost Mohammed 
and Shere Ali. The British troops still occupy Pishin and 
Sibi, in deference to the opinion of the Indian authorities, 
though the Home Government has been anxious to withdraw 
wholly from Afghan territory. 

The financial difficulty still continues to harass and hamper 
the Indian Government both in foreign and domestic policy ; 
but the year has been on the whole prosperous as well as 
peaceful, and the success of the latest loan proves that the credit 
of the Empire stands higher than at any former time. Some 
excitement has been created, among Anglo-Indians as well as 
natives, by the report that the Government intend to reimpose 
an income tax, with a view to the abolition of the remaining 
import duties on cotton goods. The protests of all classes 
against a policy which has been condemned by statesmen of 
every party connected with Indian administration will probably 
prevent the practical adoption of this idea. 

The return of Anglo-Indian policy to the old lines of non- 
intervention was rendered possible by the removal of immediate 
causes of disturbance in Eastern Europe and the abandonment 
of an active and disturbing policy on the part of Russia. 
When the year opened, it seemed too probable that the Greek 
frontier question might still involve the Continent in a perilous 


war, the limits of which no human foresight could lay down or 
maintain. Turkey refused to acknowledge the authority of the 
Berlin Conference, and the French Government, which had 
originally championed the claims of Greece, had declared that 
J^jurope' had no right to insist on the award being enforced. 
Diplomacy laboured hard to devise and impose a compromise, 
l.»ut in the beginning with little prospect of success. The 
Greek Government, convinced that the Powers would submit to 
anything rather than allow a conflagration to break out in the 
East, spoke in an imperative strain, and prepared openly for 
war. The excitement of the Athenian population was ingeni- 
ously displayed as a warning of what would happen inevitably 
if all that the Berlin Conference had given was not conceded by, 
or extorted from, the Porte. 

The Ambassadors at Constantinople, however, after long and 
patient negotiations, joined in a note to the Greek Government 
recommending the acceptance of the utmost that Turkey could 
be brought to yield. The new frontier line left the greater 
part of Epirus, with Janina and Metzovo, to Turkey, giving 
Greece possession of almost all Thessaly and the command of 
the Gulf of Arta. The Greeks were infuriated ; Athens was, or 
seemed to be, for some days on the verge of revolution, and M. 
Coumoundouros, the Prime Minister, strove to evade the popular 
wrath by meeting the powers with swelling and ambiguous 
language. Eesistance, nevertheless, was seen to be idle, and 
the clouds quickly passed away. The only doubt remaining 
turned upon the good faith and promptitude of the Porte in 
carrying out the cession of territory as arranged, which was 
peaceably accomplished early in the autumn. It was obvious 
that, if the aim of Russian policy was, as it had been some 
years before, the disturbance of the existing settlement in 
Eastern Europe, the Greek difficulty might have had a more 
disastrous issue. But Russia, for a time at least, had assumed 
a reserved and conservative position in her foreign relations. 
She had even made a pause in her advance in Central Asia. 
The campaign against the Akhal-Tekke Turcomans had ended 
with the capture of their stronghold of Geok Tepe, and General 
Skobeleff had advanced towards Merv. The project of railway 
extension from the Caspian to the south-east through Askabad 
was warmly taken up. But a reaction was at hand. General 
Skobeleff was recalled, and the Russian Government was at 

166 Al^NUAL StJMMARlES 1881 

mucli pains to prove that no aggressive designs were entertained 
in any part of the world. The dangerous dispute with China 
was closed by the cession of Kuldja, in pursuance of the same 
line of policy, and the intrigues of the "war party" at Pekin 
were thus frustrated. Moreover, Kussian diplomacy set to work 
not unsuccessfully to renew the ties which had formerly bound 
together the great monarchies of Central Europe. 

This remarkable change of policy had its origin in the 
terrible crime which startled the civilised world on the 13th of 
March. The Emperor of Eussia, returning to the Winter 
Palace from a review, was attacked by Nihilist assassins armed 
with dynamite bombs. The first explosion failed in its object, 
but while the Czar was seeing to the safety of his injured guards 
a second bomb was thrown, which inflicted fatal and horrible 
wounds. After lingering a few hours Alexander II. passed 
away. His reign will be remembered in history for many 
striking incidents and some unexpected developments of Russian 
character. By the irony of fate the Emancipator of the Serfs 
was the ruler under whom Nihilism, the most determined and 
ruthless embodiment of the revolutionary spirit, made itself 
feared and powerful. 

The new Czar, Alexander III., succeeded his father without 
any outward sign of popular restlessness. He had been sup- 
posed to entertain strong Panslavist and anti-German views, 
but his influence was immediately thrown on the Conservative 
side both in home and foreign politics. After some hesitation 
General Ignatieff was placed at the head of the internal Govern- 
ment, and the Nihilist danger has been combated by repression 
rather than concession. The murderers of Alexander II. were, 
of course, punished relentlessly, and other revolutionists were 
hunted down with renewed vigour. It was believed for a moment 
that the great Powers might be induced to join in measures for 
the eradication of Nihilism, and the right of asylum in neutral 
countries was violently attacked by the Russian Press. 

Abroad, the diplomacy of Russia was active in removing 
occasions and apprehensions of war, and plainly desirous of 
showing that the Northern Empire would willingly take its 
place once more, not formally, but cordially, in the concert of 
Europe. These dispositions were not instantly recognised, but 
in the autumn the German and Russian Emperors met at 
Dantsic, and soon afterwards the King of Italy was received 


with enthusiasm at Vienna. In the Speech from the throne at 
the opening of the German Reichstag it was announced that the 
agreement of the three Empires was " a trustworthy pledge for 
the preservation of European peace." Whether Italy was or 
was not included in the spirit of this declaration may be 
questioned, but the Tunisian enterprise of France has alienated 
the Italians from their nearest neighbours. 

The bearing of these events on the future of the Balkan 
Peninsula has been the subject of controversy and alarmist 
rumours. Austria has acquired influence in Servia and has 
exercised pressure upon Roumania, a principality which was 
elevated to the rank of a kingdom during the year. The 
ultimate object of Austrian policy is said to be the acquisition 
of Salonica, and the creation on the Mgean of another Trieste. 
But this is not likely to be attempted while the understanding 
between Russia and Germany lasts. For the same reason 
Russia will not use for disturbing purposes her influence over 
Bulgaria, strengthened by Prince Alexander's coup d'dat last 
summer, which struck down the native revolutionary party. 
The Prince, protesting that the democratic constitution of 
Tirnova was unworkable, demanded a plebiscite, to decide 
whether his abdication and withdrawal were to be accepted, or 
whether he was to be granted dictatorial powers for seven 
years. The elections resulted as a matter of course in the 
victory of the Prince, which for the moment appears, among 
other things, to have checked the intrigues for the reconstruction 
of the " Great Bulgaria " of the San Stefano treaty. 

The parts of the Ottoman Empire still under the direct rule 
of the Sultan have not witnessed any important political move- 
ments, though the Porte has been busy with the afi'airs of Tunis 
and Tripoli, of Egypt and Arabia. The personal authority of 
Abdul Hamid has been strengthened by the downfall of some of 
the best known of "the Pashas," several of whom, including 
Midhat, were convicted, after an inquiry of a doubtful character, 
of complicity in the murder of Abdul Aziz. The financial 
embarrassments of the Porte have been growing, and the neces- 
sity of doing something to re-establish Turkish credit has led to 
a new arrangement with the bondholders, whose interests were 
represented by Mr. Bourke during the negotiations. The Irad6 
settling the new terras has just been published, and it is not 
yet certainly known what action the Russian Government will 


take in the interest of the war indemnity claim. The reduction 
of the nominal principal of the debt to the amount actually 
received and the payment of a reduced interest, to be gradually 
increased, are the terms on which a new hypothecation of 
revenues is conceded, partly for the advantage of the bond- 
holders, and partly for that of the Galata bankers, lately unable 
to make further cash advances to the Porte. The influence of 
the German Government at Constantinople is one of the most 
singular developments of Ottoman intrigue, but its effect upon 
the politics of Eastern Europe has not yet been apparent. 

The difficulties of the Turkish Government have probably 
fostered more than one of the *' questions " which have arisen 
during the year on the outskirts of the Empire. The ambiguous 
relations between the Porte and the countries on the Mediter- 
ranean coast of Africa are complicated by the authority of the 
Sultan as Caliph over independent, or semi - independent, 
Mahomedan populations. 

Egypt during the early part of the year was unusually 
tranquil and prosperous. The Government of the Khedive 
Tewfik, under the European Control, had been, it seemed, fairly 
established, although the new system was not free from the 
dangers of international jealousies and intrigues. In September 
Arabi Bey, a colonel in the Egyptian service, headed a mutiny 
of the troops, surrounding Tewfik Pasha in his palace, and 
dictating the dismissal of Riaz Pasha's Ministry. The mutineers 
professed to be actuated by " national " aims, and they were, it 
seems, equally jealous of European interference and of the 
influence of the Sultan. Sherif Pasha, who succeeded Riaz, 
had to soothe the restless spirit of the military class by partial 
concessions. The Porte attempted, though vainly, to guide the 
progress of events by sending a Mission to Cairo. 

Meanwhile the difficulties of the Dual Control were forcibly 
illustrated by the divergence between English and French 
opinion. It was plain that anarchy in Egypt could not be 
tolerated, but every method of dealing with it — an Anglo- 
French expedition, or a separate expedition by either Power, or 
an appeal to the Sultan — would have met with violent opposi- 
tion in France or in England. Order has been for the present 
restored, but the elements of disturbance have not been 
removed. Cordial and complete harmony between French 
and English policy in Egyptian affairs has not been rendered 


easier by what has happened in Tunis. French ambition had 
long been attracted to Tunis, and was whetted rather than 
checked by Italian rivalry. The interference of M. Roustan, 
the French Consul -General, with a claim in which a British 
subject was opposed by a French speculative company had 
attracted attention early in the year, but a new question was 
raised in the spring, when French complaints of the misdoings 
of a border tribe, the Kroumirs, began to take a serious form. 
Preparations for war were made, but M. St. Hilaire, the French 
Foreign Minister, gave assurances, which for the time satisfied 
both England and Italy, that only the chastisement of the 
robber tribesmen was intended. The Prime Minister, M. Jules 
Ferry, made the same statement to the Chambers. But the 
moment the French troops crossed the Algerian frontier the 
pretence of chastising the Kroumirs was dropped ; General 
Br^art advanced with an imposing force upon the capital, which 
he entered without resistance or declaration of war, and after a 
military display before the palace the Bey yielded and signed 
a treaty by which France was practically invested with a 
Protectorate, the right of occupying any necessary points in 
Tunisian territory, the control of foreign and financial policy, 
and the nomination of M. Roustan as " Resident." 

The protests of England and Italy, as well as Turkey, were 
disregarded, but the aggression soon bore painful fruit, which 
damped the enthusiasm of the Chauvinists. Mahomedan 
fanaticism was stirred from Tripoli, where the Turkish troops 
were reinforced, to Morocco. An insurrection broke out in 
Southern Algeria, and an Arab rising in the Regency of Tunis 
itself compelled the French to lay siege to Sfax, and to strike 
repeated blows at an almost ubiquitous and invisible enemy. 
At length, after extravagant efforts, an expedition to the sacred 
city of Kairwan, which the French troops occupied without 
difficulty, appeared for a short time to have cowed the tribes. 
But troubles have again broken out, the French troops are again 
in the field against the Arabs, and it is not to be supposed that 
the last has been heard of the new foes whom France has called 
into activity. 

The Tunisian expedition had an important effect on the 
domestic politics and the foreign relations of France. The 
pretensions of M. Gambetta to the first place in the political 
sphere had been practically admitted by all parties, yet M, 


Ferry's Ministry still remained nominally in power. The great 
internal question on which opinion was divided was raised in 
May by the Scrutin de Liste Bill, which was carried in the 
Chamber of Deputies, though by a smaller majority than had 
been anticipated. M. Gambetta's friends were confident of his 
victory ; in a series of speeches at Cahors he took a Conservative 
tone, and pronounced the revision of the Constitution inoppor- 
tune. But the Senate unexpectedly mustered up courage to 
throw out the Election Bill, and M. Gambetta's attempt there- 
upon to precipitate an appeal to the country was ill received by 
the Lower Chamber. M. Ferry strove to rally an independent 
Republican party with the cry, "iVt revision, ni division," but 
the only effect was to accentuate M. Gambetta's advanced views, 
and to relieve the latter from a part of the animosity of the 
Extreme Left which was arrayed against him under M. 
Clemenceau. The elections resulted in the return of a large 
Gambettist majority, the Bonapartist and Bourbonist sections 
were almost annulled, numbering together barely one-sixth 
of the Chamber, while the Extreme Left was almost equally 

It was at first imagined that M. Ferry might remain in 
office, but the gloss had by this time been taken off the 
Tunisian enterprise, and M. Gambetta shrewdly evaded direct 
responsibility for a doubtful policy. The Chambers met in 
November, and M. Ferry had to face a debate on Tunis, in 
which, though the treaty with the Bey was approved, much 
damaging criticism, both on the motives and the conduct of the 
expedition, made itself heard. M. Ferry resigned, and only 
one successor was possible. M. Gambetta failed to secure as 
colleagues such men as M. Leon Say and M. de Freycinet, and 
fell back upon a Cabinet of which the only well-known member 
was the Minister of Public Worship and Public Instruction, M. 
Paul Bert, a vehement Anti-Clerical. 

Of the policy of the new Government no striking indications 
have yet been given. Though the separation from Radicalism 
marked by M. Gambetta's defeat at the Belleville election has 
been defined by the hostile attitude of the Extreme Left, the 
Ministerial programme embraces several advanced measures, 
and even Moderate Republicans have been compelled to declare 
for the abolition of life senatorships. The Church has been 
alarmed by the avowed intention of the Government to insist 


on a strict interpretation of the Concordat. The attacks of the 
Radical Press upon the Tunisian enterprise forced M. Roustan, 
the " Resident " imposed upon the Bey, to proceed for damages 
in Paris against M. Rochefort and others. It had been asserted 
that the expedition originated in scandalous stock -jobbing 
schemes, and that M. Roustan was involved in corrupt and 
discreditable intrigues. The charges were denied, but the jury 
believed that there was sufficient ground for them to justify a 
verdict in M. Rochefort's favour. 

The aggressive designs of France in North Africa have 
alienated the Italian people from the French connection. Italy 
felt that she had been not only despoiled, but tricked, and the 
immediate effect of the French policy was to shatter party 
organisation in the Parliament at Rome. The Cairoli Cabinet 
resigned ; the Liberal majority was torn by dissensions, and the 
present " Ministry of Affairs," formed by Signor Depretis, is 
insecure. Popular movements and Ministerial declarations have 
disclosed the feeling towards France, and the royal visit to 
Vienna was planned to throw Italian influence openly into the 
scale with the Imperial allies. The isolation of France, and, 
perhaps, too, the proof afforded by the Tunisian campaign that 
her military system is far from perfect, have justified the con- 
fidence with which Prince Bismarck has lately spoken on the 
results of the foreign policy of Germany. 

Italy in the meantime, restless and unstable, urged by her 
Radicals to a rupture with the Papacy — so that the Pope's 
removal to Malta or Salzburg has been again discussed — is 
about to try the hazardous experiment of an extension of the 

The internal politics of Germany have been scarcely less 
troubled. Prince Bismarck, irritated at the Liberal opposition 
to his financial schemes and his " State Socialism " in the last 
Reichstag, has inclined to a compromise with the Ultramon- 
tanes. The elections, however, cast doubts on the expediency 
of a Conservative -Clerical alliance. The supporters of the 
Chancellor were badly beaten, but neither the Liberals nor the 
Clericals secured a working majority, though the more advanced 
section of the former was both numerically and morally 
strengthened. The Speech from the throne proved that 
Prince Bismarck, in spite of his defeat, was resolved not to 
concede anything. Relying upon the divisions of his opponents, 


the Chancellor announced that the rejected Bills would be 
brought in again. The negotiations with the Vatican are still 
proceeding, and until their issue is known speculation as to the 
course of German policy will be futile. 

The domestic annals of Austria-Hungary, in spite of the 
perennial jealousies of Germans and Czechs and the antipathy 
of the Magyars to Slavonic development in the Balkan Penin- 
sula, have been uneventful. No change of policy has followed 
the choice of Count Kalnoky as the late Baron Haymerle's 
successor as Foreign Minister. 

Turning to a different quarter, we have to record a Minis- 
terial crisis and a general election in Spain. The Conservative 
Cabinet of Seiior Canovas del Castillo was overthrown early in 
the year, and a coalition between Senor Sagasta and General 
Martinez Campos came into power. The change was not 
violent, and has been beneficial to the country politically and 
financially. As usual, the elections have gone in favour of the 
party in power, and in the new Cortes the Ministerialists are 
five or six times as many as the Conservatives and Republicans 
together. It may be noted that not long before the elections 
Don Carlos was ordered to leave France. Spanish pride has 
been gratified by the Special Mission from England which 
carried the Garter to King Alfonso in the autumn, though this 
has not prevented a revival of the outcry for the cession of 
Gibraltar. The grant of a charter by the British Government 
to a company claiming sovereignty in North Borneo by grant 
from the Sultan of Sooloo has excited Spanish jealousy, and a 
similar spirit has induced the Portuguese Legislature to refuse 
to ratify the Lourengo Marques Treaty. 

In the United States it seemed that prosperity had put an 
end to political activity when General Garfield succeeded 
President Hayes in March last In Mr. Garfield's Cabinet the 
most conspicuous member was Mr. Blaine. The rivalry between 
Mr. Blaine and Senator Conkling, of New York, the chief of 
the Republican party in the Senate, led to a fierce contest over 
some of the President's appointments, in which, after delays and 
dead-locks, Mr. Conkling was beaten. He resigned, and appealed 
to his party to re-elect him as a rebuke to the President. The 
bitter party feeling produced by this strife had unexpected and 
terrible consequences. Charles Guiteau, a flighty and disreput- 
able adherent of the "Stalwart" faction, lay in wait for 


President Garfield at the railway station in Washington, and 
shot him twice in the back. The wounds were not immediately 
fatal, and the President's vigorous constitution enabled him to 
battle long and strenuously for life. The shock caused by this 
crime, which had, however, no political significance, was deep 
and world-wide. The opponents of General Garfield for the 
time effaced themselves, and Mr. Arthur, the Vice-President, 
was prompt in showing that he had no sympathy with them. 
General Garfield's dying scenes, full of pathos and dignity, fixed 
the attention of the civilised world. His death, after eleven 
weeks of cruel suffering, drew the English and American 
peoples close together by a spontaneous movement of feeling, a 
fact recognised gracefully by President Arthur in ordering the 
salute of the British flag at the anniversary festival of the 
Vorktown surrender. 

It is to be regretted that the impression of General Garfield's 
death has been weakened by the protracted and unbecoming 
wrangles into which Guiteau's trial at Washington, not yet 
ended, was allowed to degenerate. President Arthur, while 
professing a desire not to separate himself from the traditions of 
his predecessor's administration, has got rid of several of his 
Ministers, among them Mr. Blaine. There would be less reason 
to regret this if we could hope that Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. 
Blaine's successor, would follow a more moderate course in 
international politics than the late Secretary of State. Mr. 
Blaine's despatches on the Panama Canal question and the 
relations between Chili and Peru have given rise to the belief 
that the American Republicans are tending towards a Chauvinist 
policy. The pretensions of the United States to an exclusive 
right of intervention in Central and South America are quite 
new corollaries from the original Monroe doctrine. The 
Chilians, who obtained the victory in a just war, which was 
crowned by the capture of Lima in January, will not be 
inclined to submit to dictation, at least unless the army and 
navy of the United States should be largely reinforced. 

The death-roll of the year includes many illustrious names. 
We have already noticed in passing the crimes by which the 
Czar of All the Russias and the President of the United States 
were cut off. At home a remarkable and almost unique figure 
disappeared from the political scene. The loss of Lord Beacons- 
field has profoundly modified the attitude and prospects of the 


Conservative party and deprived the nation of a rare type of 

One still rarer, though more akin to English character, was 
removed in Carlyle, whose influence was rapidly fading, but 
whose intense spirit had left a deep mark on the intellectual 
and moral movement of the last generation. In Dean Stanley 
literature and popular enlightenment, even more than the 
Church, lost a singular and most striking exemplar of " sweet 

Lord Hatherley, Lord Justice James, and Lord Justice Lush 
were great lawyers and something more, and Sir John Karslake, 
but for the blindness which darkened his later days, would have 
stood on the same level. It is sufficient to name Mr. Adam, 
one of the ablest of Liberal " whips," who did not long survive 
his appointment as Governor of Madras ; Archbishop MacHale, 
formerly one of the most energetic and audacious of the Irish 
Eoman Catholic prelates ; Dr. Cumming, once the best known 
of popular preachers ; Mr. James Spedding, the editor and 
biographer of Bacon ; Mr. W. E. Greg, a vigorous and incisive 
critic in letters and politics ; Mr. Street, the most successful of 
recent architects ; Mr. Edward Miall, a pillar of British Non- 
conformity ; and Mr. Sothern, the creator of Lord Dundreary. 

France, too, lost many eminent men, among them M. 
Dufaure, M. Littre, and M. de Girardin ; Germany, Professor 
Bliintschli, a high authority on international law ; Austria, 
Baron Haymerle, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and General 
Benedek ; and Italy, Count Arrivabene. 

The census for the United Kingdom was taken in April, 
and showed that the population was, in round numbers, 
35,000,000 ^nearly 26,000,000 in England and Wales, under 
4,000,000 in Scotland, and over 5,000,000 in Ireland. The 
increase during the past decade was ascertained to be 3,600,000 
in Great Britain, against a decrease in Ireland of 225,000. 
In India the census showed a total population of nearly 
253,000,000, about 13,000,000 over the previous enumeration. 

The year was not specially remarkable for social incidents, 
or for literary, scientific, and artistic events. The publication 
of the revised edition of the New Testament excited very general 
interest There were few sensational trials, civil or criminal, 
and, happily, not many great crimes. The conviction of Lefroy 
for the murder of Mr. Gold may be held to deserve mention. 



An extraordinary outrage — the theft of Lord Crawford's body 
from the family tomb at Dunecht — remains still a mystery, but 
it is believed that the police are at last on the track of the 
guilty. Though public opinion seems resolved to put down 
electoral corruption by law, the sentences on the Macclesfield 
and Sandwich bribers produced something like a popular 
agitation, and a protest to which the Government very properly 
turned a deaf ear. In another department of judicial inter- 
pretation of law, the Court of Appeal has interfered to prevent 
an unintended and enormous extension of household suffrage in 
boroughs through the construction put by the judges in the 
first instance upon the definitions of a statute of secondary 
importance passed in 1878. The world of "sport" was amazed 
and exercised by the victories of the American horses Iroquois 
and Foxhall, the latter almost unmatched for successes in the 
annals of racing. 

Among miscellaneous occurrences may be noted the 
accident to the Saladin balloon, which carried off Mr. Powell, 
M.P. for Malmesbury, and of which nothing has since been 
heard ; the vast landslip which buried a whole village at Elm, 
in Switzerland ; and the burning of the Ring Theatre, in 
Vienna, involving, it is computed, a loss of 447 lives. Another 
disaster of a similar kind at Warsaw has led to a shameful 
outbreak of persecuting spirit against the Polish Jews, who were 
wrongfully held responsible for raising a false alarm of fire. 


The year which ends to-morrow has been remarkable for a 
succession of unexpected and stirring events in the domain of 
politics, foreign as well as domestic, but in other respects it has 
not risen above the level of the commonplace. In business, in 
society, in literature and art, there have been no dramatic 
incidents to record. Even political vicissitudes, though full of 
interest for the people of the United Kingdom, will not, with 
one exception, be remembered among the cardinal movements 
of history. 

The Egyptian expedition, notwithstanding its brilliant and 
complete success and the important issues of policy opened up 
by the achievement, can hardly be compared, for its hold upon 
the national mind, with the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, 
the Secession conflict in the United States, or the death-struggle 
between France and Germany. No one of the great Powers of 
Europe has been tried during the past twelve months by the 
clash of international ambitions or by the upheavals of revolu- 
tion. The peace of the Continent has been preserved, and, in 
spite of some outbreaks of popular bitterness abroad, ostensibly 
or actually moved by jealousy of English influence in Egypt, 
diplomatic relations have been maintained on the satisfactory 
basis of a good understanding between the leading States and a 
general desire to avoid occasions of quarrel. 

At home, the reform of Parliamentary procedure and the 
state of Ireland divided public attention. The Irish policy of 
the Government has been complicated by a series of sudden 
changes, into which Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues have been 
led by a natural disinclination to recognise the fact that the 
working of the Land Act has not yet removed, or even 


diminished in any perceptible way, disaffection and organised 
crime in Ireland. During the first half of the year the 
Opposition appeared to be steadily gaining ground upon the 
party in power. The bye-elections in North Yorkshire, Preston, 
Northampton, East Cornwall, the West Riding, and Taunton 
showed generally a falling -off in the Liberal polls, and a 
corresponding increase in the Conservative polls, compared with 
the results of the previous contests. The Ministry, to outward 
seeming, suffered by the successive secession from the Cabinet of 
Mr. Forster and Mr. Bright, even more than by the withdrawal 
of the Duke of Argyll the year before. The condemnation of 
Mr. Gladstone's policy upon two vital issues by the seceding 
Ministers was not without support outside. A section of the 
Advanced Liberals denounced British intervention in Egypt, 
while the concessions to Irish agitation were censured by several 
eminent Whigs, such as Lord Grey, Lord Fitzwilliam, and Lord 
Fortescue, and induced a few — Lord Zetland and Lord Bra- 
bourne, for example — to declare themselves Conservatives. 

It was one of the surprises of modern politics that the 
Egyptian expedition — a measure, as many of his own followers 
contended, inconsistent with the principles maintained by the 
Prime Minister when attacking the Beaconsfield Government — 
renewed the popularity and extended the influence of the 
Administration. A few fanatical devotees of non-intervention 
continued to protest, but the nation at large, almost without 
distinction of party, applauded the means taken for the pro- 
tection of British interests in Egypt, and regarded with keen 
satisfaction the proof given that the naval and military services 
were ably organised and skilfully handled. A revival of the 
warlike spirit of Englishmen, such as the country has seen from 
time to time, and usually without warning, was stimulated by 
the achievements of the fleet and the army. Conservative 
criticism was forced to take into account the drift of public 
opinion, especially as it lay in the direction of what was deemed 
a Conservative foreign policy. Ministers were able to hold 
their ground without difficulty against any attacks so long as 
the attention of the country was turned towards the Egyptian 
successes. To this was mainly due the comparative ease with 
which Mr. Gladstone, in the autumn session, carried through the 
cloture and the other reforms of procedure, although in the 
preceding May he had been willing to make a concession to his 



opponents, which would have saved the authority and responsi- 
bility of the Opposition. 

The autumnal campaign in politics had been energetic 
and untiring, but politicians for the most part were fighting 
with their hands tied. The future of English policy in Egypt 
was unknown, and in the absence of light public men were 
wisely unwilling to commit themselves to any decisive utter- 
ances. Perhaps the most curious feature in the campaign was 
the oratorical invasion of Scotland — first by Sir Stafford 
Northcote in October, and afterwards by Lord Salisbury in 
November. The autumn session was occupied by protracted 
debates on procedure, which showed that the discipline of the 
Liberals was strict, and that in the House of Commons, despite 
notorious differences of opinion, the Ministry were still sure 
of an ample working majority. In the country, however, the 
edge was taken off the Ministerial success in Egypt by the pro- 
minence given to other topics. The renewal of troubles in 
Ireland and the doubts cast anew upon the satisfactory working 
of the Land and the Arrears Acts aided in bringing out 
evidences of a partial reaction. The Conservatives exulted in 
their victory at Salisbury, where the Liberal sitting member had 
vacated his seat on accepting a subordinate office in the Koyal 
liousehold, and in their greatly augmented majority at Wigan. 
But these gains were much more than counterbalanced by their 
unexpected defeat at Liverpool ; though, as two-fifths of the 
constituency did not go to the poll, it is doubtful how far the 
issue can be regarded as showing the tendency of public 
opinion. Mr. Forster, who visited Glasgow in December, 
pointed to the Liverpool election as a proof of the popularity 
of the Government, the policy of which, in one vital part — 
the treatment of Irish disaffection — he, nevertheless, severely 

The path of the Government was smoothed by the complete 
extinction of the Protectionist movement masquerading under 
the title of " Fair Trade " and the subsidence of discontent and 
agitation among the agricultural classes in Great Britain. The 
improvement in trade prospects, both industrial and commercial, 
w^as undoubted, though the corresponding increase of revenue 
was slow in answering to the hopes of financiers, and some 
branches of business remained in a state of depression. Public 
securities of recognised solidity were high in price throughout 



the year, and the Money-market, notwithstanding spasmodic 
movements due to the alarms of foreign politics, was, on the 
whole, steady. There were no disastrous panics, no serious 
conflicts between labour and capital. It is a proof of the 
stability produced by the lean years which had gone before, 
with their lessons of thrift and caution, that this country 
scarcely felt the shock of the financial collapse of the Union 
G^n^rale in Paris or the vicissitudes of the Egyptian crisis. 

Protective tariflFs in foreign countries, and even in some of 
our own colonies, continue to restrict the development of 
British trade with other communities. The negotiations for a 
renewal of the commercial treaty with France, after repeated 
eflForts, were abandoned in April last as hopeless, but arrange- 
ments were concluded on "the most favoured nation" basis 
which have worked fairly well. Commerce and manufactures 
at home, though free from serious disturbances, showed an 
incurable tendency to fluctuation. 

Agriculture, after all the greatest of British industries, has 
not yet been rewarded by a really plenteous harvest for the 
trials of recent years ; but the crops have, at all events, yielded 
a return far above the miserable averages of 1879, 1880, and 
1881. The mild winter, which was noticed as full of promise 
for the farmers in the Speech from the throne in February, was 
followed by fairly seasonable weather up to June, when heavy 
rains did much damage to the hops and wheat, and ruinously 
drenched a splendid hay crop. In July and August the 
weather was chequered, but some intervals of sunshine and 
drying winds allowed the cereals generally to be harvested 
without much deterioration. Pasture, roots, and green crops 
were excellent and abundant. Unfortunately, live stock have 
been largely reduced in numbers during the period of depression, 
so that the supply of "feed" exceeded the demand. The 
improvement in the farmers' position was marked by the failure 
of political schemes for inoculating England with the agrarian 
designs which had convulsed Ireland. In the extreme North, 
however, the contagion was more readily transmitted, and in 
Skye violent resistance was offered by a portion of the 
" crofters " to evictions for non-payment of rent. 

Among the most interesting social characteristics of the year 
may be noted a succession of events in which the Queen and 
the Koyal Family bore a prominent part. The attempt on Her 


Majesty's life, at Windsor, by a half- crazed creature named 
Maclean, was followed by the Queen's visit, for much needed 
quiet and rest, to Mentone. Soon after her return, Prince 
Leopold, Duke of Albany, was married to the Princess Helen of 
Waldeck. This splendid ceremony was succeeded by one of 
more popular interest, the formal , dedication of Epping Forest 
— secured from further "enclosure" by the exertions of the 
Corporation of London — to the use and enjoyment of the 
people. The Queen's appearance in state on this occasion, and 
again, much later in the year, when she reviewed in St. James's 
Park the troops returned from the Egyptian expedition, was 
surpassed in the imposing effect of magnificent costumes and 
applauding multitudes by Her Majesty's visit to the Royal 
Courts of Justice, which were opened formally on the 4th of 
December. For years Londoners, and, indeed, Englishmen in 
general, have not witnessed so many state pageants. The 
personal loyalty of the nation to the Sovereign and the reigning 
House has been not less clearly shown on minor occasions, on 
the return of the Prince of Wales' sons from their cruise in the 
Bacchante^ and during the illnesses of the Duke of Albany and 
the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Connaught's good 
service in command of a division in Egypt was cordially 
acknowledged by the public. 

There have, however, been other proofs that individual 
influences exercise an undiminished sway over opinion and 
sentiment in these kingdoms. Though the political strength of 
the Ministry may have been impaired by the wear and tear of 
three years' tenure of ofiice, Mr. Gladstone's personal popularity 
is as great as ever. The Prime Minister's marvellous and self- 
sufficing powers extort admiration, while the vigour of his will 
generates antipathies as outspoken almost as those which beset 
the latter days of Lord Beaconsfield. During the present 
month Mr. Gladstone's " political jubilee " — the completion of 
the fiftieth year of his Parliamentary service — was celebrated, 
and he has entered this week on his seventy-fourth year. It 
was, however, manifest that even Mr. Gladstone could not 
continue to bear the threefold burden of the Premiership, the 
leadership of the House of Commons, and the Chancellorship of 
the Exchequer. There were, too, other provisional arrange- 
ments in the Ministry which must soon be corrected. Lord 
Spencer, while acting as Viceroy of Ireland and a member of 


the Cabinet, w^s also nominally President of the Council, and 
Lord Kimberley had added the ofl&ce of Chancellor of the Duchy 
of Lancaster to that of Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

The chief changes in the Administration, besides those in 
Ireland, which will be presently noticed, were not effected till 
after the autumn session. Lord Derby then entered the Cabinet 
as Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Kimberley was removed to 
the India Office, Lord Hartington to the War Office, and Mr. 
Childers to the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, at length 
vacated by Mr. Gladstone. A place in the Cabinet was subse- 
quently found for Sir Charles Dilke by Mr. Dodson's transfer 
from the Presidency of the Local Government Board to the 
Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster. Mr. Fawcett's 
dangerous illness, which moved universal sympathy, and from 
which he is now happily recovering, also drew attention to the 
claims, which cannot long remain without further recognition, of 
one of the soundest politicians and the ablest administrators in 
the Government. 

A large number of baronetcies and knighthoods, in addition 
to the rewards for the Egyptian campaign, have been distributed 
in the past twelve months, but few honours of the highest 
class. The Lord Chancellor was advanced to the dignity of an 
earldom on the opening of the Law Courts, and is now Earl of 
Selborne and Viscount Wolmer ; Sir Garnet Wolseley and Sir 
Beauchamp Seymour were respectively created Lord Wolseley 
of Cairo and Lord Alcester on their return from Egypt. 

The dual leadership of the Conservative party — Lord 
Salisbury guiding the majority in the Peers, and Sir Stafford 
Northcote the minority in the House of Commons — has fairly 
stood the test of active operations in the face of adversity. 
Lord Kandolph Churchill and his associates of the Fourth Party 
dislike the tactics of moderation and watchfulness to which the 
leaders of the Opposition have adhered ; but there is no reason 
for believing that the Conservative party at large desire to break 
away from the counsels in which both Lord Salisbury and Sir 
Stafford Northcote are agreed, and to precipitate, even were it 
possible, by obstructive measures and alliances with the Irish 
Secessionist faction, an appeal to the constituencies. The 
autumn session has shown that the Conservatives, in spite of 
the effervescing zeal or ambition of a few bold theorists of 
" Tory Democracy," are united, well disciplined, and resolved to 


maintain a character for sobriety and public spirit. Sir 
Stafford Northcote's failure of strength — already, it is hoped, 
repaired by a brief period of rest — was a loss to his party. It 
was also a warning that statesmen of less adamantine frame than 
the Prime Minister cannot stand the high pressure and the pro- 
longed duration of recent Parliaments. From this point of 
view men of all opinions may be satisfied if the hopes should be 
realised which the Ministry found upon the reform of Parlia- 
mentary procedure, almost the only political work, so far as 
England is concerned, of a session extending from the beginning 
of February to the beginning of December, and following two 
sessions of abnormal length, of excessive activity, and of singular 
barrenness in measures of general advantage to the community. 

If, however. Parliament has done little for Great Britain 
during the year, it has again devoted by far the greater portion 
of its time to Irish affairs. The administrative energies of the 
Executive, moreover, have been fully as much absorbed by 
Ireland as by Egypt. At the opening of 1882 the effect of the 
Land Act was becoming visible, though only a small fraction of 
the cases entered for hearing, constituting in themselves only 
a small fraction of the total number of tenancies, had been 
decided. The landlords, however, were alarmed at the almost 
invariable reductions of rent, averaging from one-fifth to one- 
third of the previous rentals. The tenants, still believing in the 
policy of the " No-Eent " manifesto, held aloof in great numbers 
from the Courts, and agrarian crime continued to exact terrible 
penalties from landlords, agents, or officers of the law who 
dared to press for the payment of rent due. Mr. Parnell was 
in Kilmainham Gaol; the Protection Act was administered 
with resolution and courage by Mr. Forster ; the harvest had 
been plentiful, and there was no distress. 

Nevertheless, the situation was discouraging. Not only the 
landlords and other loyalists, but the very authors of the Land 
Act, were denounced throughout Ireland as cruel tyrants and 
irreconcilable enemies. The Land League, though suppressed 
by law, strove to make its power felt in various indirect ways, 
and the waverings of the farmers in their adherence to the 
" No-Eent " decree, as well as the recovery of rent or land by 
legal processes, were punished by outrages which remained long 
unpunished. Among the most horrible of these crimes was the 
mysterious murder of an old man and a lad in Lord Ardilaun's 


employment, whose bodies were afterwards found sunk in 
Lough Mask. The darkness which shrouded this and other 
evil deeds was disquieting to the Government and to all 
loyal men. Mr. Forster steadily persevered in his efforts 
to break the power and defeat the aims of the Land League, 
with the conviction that success therein would cut at the 
root of organised crime. At the Cork Winter Assizes, with 
a restricted jury panel, some important convictions were 
obtained, on the testimony of an approver, which cleared 
up much of the mystery that covered the proceedings of 
" Captain Moonlight " and his murderous gangs ; but generally 
the ordinary juries failed, either through terror or sympathy, 
to convict even upon the clearest evidence. That terror- 
ism was at work in this as in other directions was shown 
by the murder of Mr. Herbert, a magistrate for Kerry, who had 
become obnoxious to the enemies of the law by his courageous 
firmness in the jury box. This crime was closely followed by 
the murder in Westmeath of Mrs. Smythe, who was shot in her 
brother-in-law's carriage on her way from church. 

Public opinion in England was deeply moved by these 
events, but, as Judges pointed out on the Bench and Ministers 
in Parliament, by far the greater number of the victims were 
poor men, tenants suspected of paying rent, farm-servants 
daring to work for boycotted persons, or bailiffs and others 
venturing to serve notices of legal process. Some threatening 
attacks were made on the police, and actual or suspected in- 
formers were stabbed and shot in the streets of Dublin. The 
state of Ireland weja incessantly discussed in Parliament, but 
down to the hour of Mr. Forster's resignation the Government 
made no sign of concession to the party of disorder. 

A number of Radical politicians, especially those in whose con- 
stituencies the Irish vote was powerful, were zealous for the re- 
lease of Mr. Parnell and the employment of the power of the Land 
League to restore tranquillity in Ireland. Mr. Forster stoutly 
resisted this policy, which found determined advocates in the 
Cabinet, and his resignation, with Lord Cowper's, first made 
known the Ministerial change of policy. The abandonment of 
the Protection Act was announced, Mr. Parnell, Mr. O'Kelly, and 
Mr. Dillon were released and appeared in the House of Commons, 
where Mr. Forster defended his own views, maintaining that 
the extraordinary powers entrusted to the Executive ought not 


to be surrendered until at least alternative measures for grappling 
with crime were adopted, and that it would be better to struggle, 
even unsuccessfully, against crime than to rely for its repression 
upon the aid of its organisers. Subsequently the grounds of 
the understanding between the Government and the Land League 
party, which the Opposition nick-named the Kilmainham 
Treaty, were hotly discussed in Parliament. Mr. Gladstone 
affirmed that the Cabinet had acted upon " information " of Mr. 
Parnell's willingness to help the cause of order, which was 
contained, as it proved, in a letter to Mr. O'Shea. The promise 
was conditional upon the passing of an Arrears Bill and the 
abandonment of coercion ; but the course of subsequent events 
to a great extent deprived the arrangement of more than historic 

Lord Spencer's appointment as Viceroy, with Lord Frederick 
Cavendish as Chief Secretary, was too speedily followed by a 
terrible justification of Mr. Forster's warnings. In official 
circles there was an unbounded confidence in the conciliation 
and pacification of Irish feeling by the abandonment of coercion. 
Lord Spencer's reception at Dublin Castle was encouraging, but 
on the evening of that very day Lord Frederick Cavendish and 
the Under - Secretary, Mr. Burke, were assassinated in the 
Phoenix Park, within sight of the Viceregal Lodge. The 
murderers, dressed in American fashion and armed, as was 
conjectured, with bowie knives, escaped, nor down to the 
present hour, in spite of extraordinary efforts and immense 
rewards, have they been brought to justice. This atrocity made 
a profound impression upon English opinion, and even in 
Ireland there was a momentary recoil from the cause identified 
with such horrors. But it soon became clear that neither the 
agitators nor the masses in Ireland were able, if, indeed, they 
were willing, to put down crime, whether agrarian or political. 
A few weeks after the Phoenix Park tragedy two double 
murders were perpetrated in Connaught. A retired Anglo- 
Indian, Mr. Bourke, and a soldier escorting him, were shot 
from behind a loopholed wall, and in the same manner, three 
weeks later, Mr. Blake, Lord Clanricarde's agent, and his 
steward were killed. Attacks on policemen, on bailiffs, on 
deserters of the Land League policy, and especially on persons 
suspected of giving aid or information to the police, were not 


The Government had the support of all parties, except Mr. 
Parnell and his extreme followers, in passing the Prevention of 
Crimes Bill, the strongest measure of the kind ever introduced, 
with the exception of Lord Grey's Coercion Act. Mr. Trevelyan, 
who had succeeded to the Chief Secretaryship, laboured actively 
under Lord Spencer to reorganise the police force, and to make 
the application of the law swift and sure. The task was in- 
terrupted and complicated by difficulties with the Koyal Irish 
Constabulary and with the Dublin Metropolitan Police, which 
more than once threatened to end in a formidable strike. The 
Executive, without refusing to meet reasonable demands, firmly 
upheld discipline, and the excitement rapidly died away. In 
the autumn the police, both in Dublin and in the provinces, 
displayed, under severe trials, a devotion and courage worthy of 
all praise. 

The strenuous administration of the Crimes Act had im- 
mediate effect in the reduction of outrages, chiefly, however, as 
several of the Irish judges pointed out, of the less serious type. 
The massacre of the Joyce family at Maamtrasna, believed to be 
instigated by those who feared the disclosure of the Lough 
Mask murder, was tracked to its authors, and it was hoped that 
other agrarian crimes would, under the new arrangements for 
trial before special juries in Dublin and other large towns, be 
promptly and adequately punished. The power of trying 
prisoners without juries was held in reserve. Some important 
convictions were obtained before the Dublin Special Commission 
in August, but the effect was impaired by an attack made upon 
the jury and the Bench in one notable case, in a newspaper 
owned and edited by the High Sheriff, Mr. Gray, M.P. Mr. 
Justice Lawson at once committed Mr. Gray for contempt, and 
a Parliamentary controversy ensued, which was referred in the 
autumn session to a select committee. ]\ ^t Gray had meanwhile 
been released, and the judge's exercise oi authority, in spite of 
this unsuccessful challenge, protected the Courts against menaces 
disguised as criticism. 

The operation of the law, nevertheless, was not left un- 
impeded. Important trials were coming on at the November 
Commission ; the Maamtrasna and the Lough Mask murders 
were to be investigated, and, though these were undoubtedly 
agrarian crimes committed in the remote West, the inquiry 
alarmed the desperate confederacy which defied the police in 


Dublin. Mr. Justice Lawson narrowly escaped the meditated 
attack of an armed assassin ; a small body of detectives 
employed in watching suspicious characters were set upon by 
armed men, and one was killed ; Mr. Field, a juror in one of 
the agrarian cases at the former Commission, was stabbed and 
left for dead before his own door. The Irish Government 
grappled at once with the evil ; the police were reinforced by 
patrols of Marines ; and the trials before special juries were 
proceeded with. In the Maamtrasna case, which revealed un- 
known depths of savagery, eight men were convicted, of whom 
three were executed. Convictions were also obtained, though 
not without a second trial, in the Lough Mask case. 

While this struggle with Irish crime was going on Mr. 
Gladstone continued to predict that his remedial measures 
would strike at the root of the evil. It is difl&cult as yet to 
determine whether the Land Act has won over many of the 
peasantry to the cause of order. The Land Commission has 
been at work since November 1881, but at first it was greatly 
undermanned, and its apparent effects have been obscured by 
the introduction of the Arrears Act, which was intended to 
bring within the Land Act indebted tenants otherwise unable 
to apply under the fair rent clauses. The extent to which this 
relief was required proved to be much overrated, and the 
arguments on both sides, when the Bill was before Parliament, 
look now somewhat out of proportion to the results. But until 
the Arrears question was finally settled, which was not until the 
Prime Minister at the close of the autumn session declared that 
the Government could go no further, the normal relations 
between landlords and tenants could not be subjected to the 
decisions of the Courts. How rents, judicial or other, were to 
be paid, could not be determined until the irregular arrange- 
ments for the paymefi^ of arrears were concluded. 

The Land League party, in spite of the Treaty of Kilmain- 
ham and the concessions of the Government, declared that the 
Imperial Parliament had failed to conciliate Ireland. Mr. 
Parnell and his immediate friends were, nevertheless, in favour 
of persevering in Parliamentary action, calculating upon the 
"squeezability" of English politicians. Mr. Davitt, followed 
by another section, was for more violent measures. At a 
conference held in Dublin in October these conflicting views 
almost led to an open rupture, but Mr. Parnell prevailed, and 


his policy is now on its triaL The Land League and the Home 
Rule League have merged in the Irish National League which 
was established at the conference. There, also, the demands of 
the " popular party " in Ireland, f^om which were excluded not 
only Irish Liberals and Irish Conservatives, but moderate Home 
Rulers, such as Mr. Shaw, were thrown into a compact form. 

Mr. Parnell stands pledged, as he avowed in his recent 
speeches at Cork, to force the Government to give effect to those 
demands, to enlarge the scope of the Land Act, and to establish 
centres of Nationalist strength in county boards, controlling 
local taxation, electing magistrates and sheriffs, managing the 
police and electing the members of the administrative bodies 
concerned with education, the poor law, and public works. 
The disturbance of the agrarian settlement adopted by Parlia- 
ment in the Land Act has been protested against by Lord 
Derby, just before his entrance into the Cabinet, and by Mr. 
Forster. Distress, unhappily, prevails in many parts of Ireland, 
where the cottier tenants have received no benefit — as, indeed, 
it was impossible they should — from the Land Act and the 
Arrears Act The Government declined to sanction relief 
works, and desire to supplement the poor law by emigration. 
To this policy Mr. Parnell and his party are opposed, contending 
that the starving cottiers of Connaught ought rather to be 
settled, at the cost of the State, on the rich lands now devoted 
to stock breeding with a success visible in no other branch of 
Irish farming. 

In Egypt, at the beginning of the year, the Khedive was 
pressed by the growing pretensions of the Council of Notables, 
and Arabi's restoration to the War Department seemed to 
portend the complete triumph of the National party. England 
and France — the latter under the rule of M. Gambetta, whose 
power had been apparently confirmed by the Senatorial elections 
— presented a Joint Note, declaring the maintenance of the 
Khedive's authority " the only possible guarantee " for order, 
and expressing their hope of preventing dangers which, should 
they arise, " would certainly find England and France united to 
face them." The Porte protested, and in Germany, Austria, 
Italy, and Russia there were signs of impatience and jealousy, 
which encouraged the Notables to attack the Control and 
European influence in Egypt. Arabi and the army had, in 
fact, a monopoly of power ; the Khedive was forced to accept a 


National Ministry, and the Organic Law, adopted in defiance of 
the protests of the Controllers, placed the Budget in the hands 
of the Notables, thus subverting the authority of England and 
France embodied in the Control. M. Gambetta's downfall and 
the minimising and dilatory policy of M. de Freycinet, with the 
belief that England would not intervene alone, spurred Arabi, 
now substantially Dictator and supported almost undisguisedly 
by the Sultan, to more daring measures. A quarrel with the 
Khedive and a pretext for the ejection of the Europeans were 
sought, but the military party overshot their mark. Tewfik 
Pasha refused to sanction the execution of some Circassian 
officers condemned for alleged conspiracy against Arabi. The 
Notables drew back from opposing the Khedive at the bidding 
of the soldiery. The Sultan saw his way to seizing the crisis as 
a pretext for action on his own behalf. 

Throughout Europe it began to be understood that the 
defeat of the Western Powers in Egypt would mean the ruin of 
civilisation and all European interests. Finally, the urgency of 
the case brought England and France to an agreement that any 
disturbance of the status quo must be prevented. In pursuance 
of this policy, a British and a French squadron anchored in the 
harbour of Alexandria in the latter part of May. Meanwhile, 
a panic prevailed among the Europeans ; the Khedive, hoping 
to avoid a collision, recalled Arabi and his party to office ; it 
was known that England and France were considering how the 
Sultan's suzerainty could be employed to put down the military 

On the 25th of May the English and French Consuls-General 
presented an ultimatum to the Egyptian Ministers, demanding 
the temporary removal from the country of Arabi and two other 
leaders of the mutinous soldiery, and the resignation of the 
Ministry. The Khedive gladly assented to these terms, but the 
army and the Nationalists, not believing that the fleets would 
be allowed to fire a shot, and believing, with better reason, that 
the Sultan would not jeopardise his power as Caliph in a 
conflict for Christians against Moslems, were obstinate and 
threatening. The Ministers resigned, but the Khedive could 
find none to succeed them. His appeals to the Ulema, the 
Notables, the heads of departments, and the officers were met 
with insolent defiance. The army clamoured for the restoration 
of Arabi, and warned the trading classes that, unless the 


Khedive yielded, life and property would not be safe. The 
Khedive did yield, and quickened the flight of Europeans from 
Cairo to Alexandria, where hundreds crowded into the ships in 
the roads. Whether Arabi remained master of the situation or 
the Western Powers forcibly interfered, the danger appeared 
equally great. 

But intervention of another kind was first essayed. The 
proposal for a Conference at Constantinople had not yet been 
accepted by all the great Powers, and the Porte had taken the 
initiative alone. Dervish Pasha was sent to Cairo on a special 
mission, and was welcomed there avowedly as representing the 
cause of Islam. His policy was, it appeared, to reduce the 
Khedive to impotence, and, either through Arabi or by sup- 
planting him, to get control over the Egyptian army. His 
schemes were interrupted on the 11th of June by the explosion 
for which the military conspirators had laid the train. A street 
brawl in Alexandria between a Maltese and an Arab gave the 
signal for a Mussulman rising, undoubtedly preconcerted, in 
which the rioters assaulted, wounded, and killed a great number 
of Europeans and pillaged their houses. The British Consul, 
Mr. Cookson, was seriously injured, and some officers and men 
of the British squadron were among the victims. With some 
exceptions the troops and police stood aloof till the mischief 
was done. Arabi did not interfere till he had convinced 
Dervish Pasha that Turkey was powerless to solve the difiiculty. 
The Khedive and Dervish, accompanied by the European 
Consuls -General, hastened to Alexandria, leaving Arabi as 
autocrat at Cairo. The panic of the Europeans increased with 
the insolence of the Arabs. In vain the Khedive and his 
Ministers strove to allay the excitement by vague promises. 
Arabi's supremacy was recognised at the Porte by his elevation 
to the highest rank of the Medjidie ; he was openly preparing 
resistance at Alexandria and a raid on the Suez Canal. 

International jealousies were for the moment hushed ; the 
Conference met ; a " self-denying protocol " was signed by all 
the Powers, and, in the absence of a formal mandate entrusted 
to the Western Powers, efforts were made to induce the Porte to 
act under strict limitations as mandatory of Europe. The 
Sultan's shifty delays prolonged the uncertainty. It was clear 
that France was unwilling to intervene, and the Egyptian rebels 
believed that England would not act without support. Arabi, 


as Mr. Gladstone said in Parliament, had thrown off the mask, 
and was aiming at the deposition of the Khedive and the ex- 
pulsion of the Europeans. England, however, had determined 
to act — if possible, with the authority of Europe, with the 
support of France and the co-operation of Turkey ; but, if 
necessary, alone. 

In view of probable action, Arabi's preparations for resist- 
ance at Alexandria could not be overlooked. In spite of broken 
pledges, and orders from the Khedive and the Sultan, Sir 
Beauchamp Seymour reported that the works on the forts were 
actively carried on, and on the 6th of July the Admiral 
demanded their instant cessation under penalty of bombard- 
ment. Protests by the Khedive and the foreign Consuls were 
outweighed by Arabi's practical defiance, and on the 10th Sir 
Beauchamp Seymour finally insisted on the surrender of the 
forts at the mouth of the harbour as a material guarantee. 
The Egyptian Ministers strove to negotiate, but the Admiral's 
resolution was fixed, and Arabi, confident in the strength of the 
forts, had no thought of yielding. In the early morning of the 
11th eight British ironclads and five gunboats advanced to the 
attack. The Egyptian guns, of large calibre and modern 
construction, were well served ; but in a few hours the forts 
were battered down or silenced, with slight loss on the British 
side and with trifling damage to the ships. Next day, as the 
bombardment was about to be renewed, negotiations were 
opened by the display of flags of truce, under cover of which 
the Egyptian forces evacuated the town, setting fire to the 
European quarter and letting loose upon it gangs of reckless 
plunderers. Fortunately a plan for the Khedive's murder was 
balked, and the British bluejackets and marines quickly restored 
order in the streets. In a few days a small body of British 
troops was landed under Sir Archibald Alison, who was, how- 
ever, neither able nor authorised to strike a blow at Arabi's 

The vigorous action of England in Egypt was in striking 
contrast with the retirement of the French squadron to Port 
Said before the bombardment, nor, in spite of the protests of 
M. Gambetta and his friends, was the French Government 
tempted to follow the English initiative. The majority of the 
chamber, shrinking from intervention, gave a hostile vote on M. 
de Freycinet's demand for funds to provide for the protection of 



French interests in the Canal. England was thus left to act 
alone ; the Powers did not interfere ; the delays at the Porte as 
to entering the Conference and settling the terms of military 
co-operation left English policy practically unfettered. The 
despatch of an expeditionary force to secure British interests 
and to restore order was resolved upon with scarcely a show of 
opposition, though Mr. Bright, who had sanctioned the despatch 
of the fleet to Alexandria, left the Cabinet on the ground that 
further intervention was a breach of " the moral law." 

Mr. Gladstone asked on the 24th of July for a vote of credit 
for £2,300,000, which he proposed to meet by an increase of 
the income-tax. The vote was passed, and consent to the 
employment of an Indian Contingent was also granted. The 
Prime Minister denied that Arabi was a national leader, and 
charged the ruin of Egypt upon "lawless military violence, 
aggravated by wanton and cruel crime." The War Office and 
the Admiralty prepared for the campaign with unusual energy 
and promptitude. It was impossible, however, to crush Arabi at 
once ; the insurgent army, encouraged by the delay, threatened 
Alexandria, the Khedive, and Sir A Alison's force, cut off the 
supply of fresh water by the Mahmoudieh Canal, denounced 
Tewfik Pasha as a traitor, and involved the populace in guilt by 
abominable outrages on Europeans. 

The Khedive at length proclaimed Arabi a rebel, and Lord 
Dufferin invited the Sultan to issue a similar proclamation 
before joining in the expedition. The procrastinations of the 
Porte tided the British Government over a difficult crisis. 
Diplomatic questions were still at issue when the reinforcements 
from England began to land at Alexandria, on the 10th of 
August. Admiral Hewett had occupied Suez, to be ready for 
the Indian contingent, a week earlier. Sir Garnet Wolseley, the 
commander of the expedition, arrived in Egypt on the 15th, a 
day or two before the Parliamentary adjournment, with Sir 
John Adye as Chief of the Staff and second in command ; and 
General Macpherson, with the Indian troops, appeared at the 
Red Sea port a few days later. The plan of operations arranged 
before the General and his staff left England was at first kept 
studiously secret. Under colour of a projected attack on the 
Aboukir forts. Sir Garnet Wolseley sailed from Alexandria with 
the main body of the army on the 19th, and within a few hours 
the entire course of the Canal was occupied, the British head- 


quarters being fixed at Ismailia, The whole of the Indian 
Contingent was under arms a few days later at Suez ; but 
active operations from the new base, the Canal, were delayed 
through deficiency of transport and supplies. Arabi's forces 
were not idle ; they kept the garrison at Alexandria busy, and 
harassed the British on the Canal by cutting off the provision 
of fresh water. 

M. de Lesseps, who had been in close relations with Arabi, 
protested loudly against the violation of the neutrality of the 
international waterway, but his complaints were backed by none 
of the Powers. Proposals, indeed, were made by Italy and 
accepted by the Powers that the Canal should be placed in 
charge of an international police. Events, however, outstripped 
this scheme as well as the hesitating movements of the Porte. 

Sir Garnet Wolseley's plan of campaign was to advance on 
Cairo by the Freshwater Canal. Though supplies were short 
and the railway almost useless from lack of engines and rolling 
stock carried off by Arabi, it was thought necessary to push on. 
After the repulse of an attack on our advanced posts at 
Kassassin on the 28th, Arabi and his army retired on a strongly 
intrenched position at Tel-el-Kebir. For a fortnight the British 
General reserved his final blow ; even successful skirmishes were 
not followed up. At length, on the evening of the 12th of 
September, orders were issued for an assault on the Egyptian 
position. The troops, numbering under 14,000 men, with sixty 
guns, began to move before dawn, and had drawn close to the 
Tel-el-Kebir lines unnoticed before five o'clock. The instant the 
alarm was given the British soldiery charged, and after a few 
minutes' struggle the enemy's intrenchments were won. The 
Egyptian army fled in wild rout towards Cairo, outrun by Arabi 

No time was lost in piirsuing the advantage of this complete 
and crushing victory. General Drury-Lowe advanced by a 
forced march on the capital, which was instantly surrendered 
by the Governor, and occupied peaceably by a mere handful of 
British troops. Arabi and his lieutenant, Toulba Pasha, gave 
themselves up, and Cairo welcomed the victors, as they rapidly 
arrived, with demonstrations of hostility to the rebels. Within 
a couple of weeks the last embers of the rebellion had died out ; 
strong positions at Kafr-dawar, Aboukir, and Damietta were 
successively surrendered, the insurgent army disbanded, and 


only a few of the chiefs held in custody for trial. The Khedive 
returned in triumph from Alexandria to Cairo, where, on the 
30th of September, the victorious British troops were paraded 
before him. 

The battle of Tel-el-Kebir, involving a loss on the British 
side in killed and wounded of just 400 officers and men, ended 
the war. The rebels numbered nearly 30,000 men, but they 
did not fight with obstinacy, and their loss was under 1500 
men. The success of Sir Garnet Wolseley and his gallant 
troops was generously recognised at home and abroad. De- 
traction and cynical criticism were hushed. Foreign opinion 
generally recognised the service rendered to civilisation. Even 
the Porte was forced to acquiesce in the logic of facts. The 
withdrawal of the English forces began immediately, though 
an army of occupation of 12,000 men, under Sir A. Alison, was 
left to restore order and to protect the Khedive. The total 
charge for the naval, military, and Indian services down to the 
close of the war was ascertained to be £4,600,000, but no 
special provision was made during the autumn session for the 
excess over the estimate of July. Rewards were freely bestowed 
on the returning victors ; peerages on the naval and military 
chiefs, knightly orders on the Generals and Admirals of Division 
and the diplomatic and consular agents, and medals in profusion 
upon the soldiery. The review before the Queen in St. James's 
Park was an occasion of national rejoicing. 

But there remained causes of anxiety for the future. Neither 
the Opposition at home nor the Great Powers pressed the 
Government unduly for a disclosure of its policy in Egypt 
Mr. Gladstone and other Ministers repudiated the notion of 
annexing that country, and declared that England was ready to 
withdraw from the supervision of Egyptian affairs when 
securities had been taken against renewed anarchy. The 
difficulty of maintaining this position, still more of accepting 
Mr. Courtney's policy of leaving the Egyptians to stew in their 
own juice, has become more apparent since the return of peace. 
England has been compelled repeatedly to interfere, with 
advice indistinguishable from commands. The restoration of 
the Dual Control has been forbidden ; the creation of an 
Egyptian army has been committed to Sir Evelyn Wood, while 
the gendarmerie has been placed under Baker Pasha. 

The most remarkable instance of British intervention was 

VOL. II o 


the rescue of Arabi from the Egyptian Courts. The rebel 
leader was given up to be tried by an Egyptian Court-Martial ; 
then a Special Commission was appointed to try him on charges 
of mutiny, treason, and violation of the laws of war. A strong 
feeling, however, grew up in England that our vanquished 
enemy should not be treated as an ordinary criminal ; English 
opinion prevailed ; the Khedive and his Ministers yielded 
reluctantly to the pressure of Lord Dufferin, who had left 
Constantinople to arrange the terms of the new settlement in 
Egypt. Arabi pleaded guilty on the least grave charges ; his 
sentence was commuted to banishment, and he and some of his 
fellow-prisoners are now on their way to Ceylon, there to be 
detained in English custody. Lord Derby's desire, expressed 
just before his acceptance of office, that we should leave Egypt 
the moment the Khedive can " stand alone " does not, in these 
circumstances, appear likely to be soon realised. 

On the Continent the year, apart from the Egyptian com- 
plications, was not marked by any international events of 
exceptional importance. The domestic politics of France were 
largely influenced by foreign affairs. M. Gambetta's Ministry 
was overthrown in January, on the scrutin de liste proposal, by 
a majority in the Chamber of 305 to 110. Moderate men had 
been alarmed by the restlessness of Ministers, while the Eadicals 
detested their " opportunism." M. de Freycinet was recalled to 
power, with M. L^on Say, M. Jules Ferry, M. Tirard, Admiral 
Jaur^guiberry, and other men of experience and Parliamentary 
weight as his colleagues. M. Gambetta's friends and the 
Extreme Left proved equally powerless against M. de Freycinet 
in domestic affairs. Many "burning questions" were dealt 
with or discussed — the election of mayors, primary education, 
the Concordat, and divorce — the Ministry steering skilfully 
between extreme opinions. There was no suspicion that M. de 
Freycinet's Government was destined to fall through a too 
cautious evasion of national responsibility. 

France, as we have seen, went hand in hand with England, 
though slowly and hesitatingly, down to the critical moment 
when it became necessary to support diplomacy by action. 
Then she drew back, as M. Gambetta pointed out, with fatal 
consequences to her authority and influence in Egypt. M. 
de Freycinet's modest proposals for safeguarding the Suez 
Canal were rejected by a majority of 416 to 75, combining 


against him members in favour of energetic intervention as well 
as complete non-intervention. 

After many difficulties, President Gr^vy succeeded in form- 
ing a " Ministry of affairs," under M. Duclerc, whicli has held 
its ground since in spite of popular discontent at the course of 
events in Egypt and the alarm caused by Socialist riots at 
Montceau-les-Mines. The revival of a spirit of intervention 
abroad — the reaction against the retreat in Egypt — has been 
shown by projects for asserting French influence with a high 
hand in Tonquin, Madagascar, and Equatorial Africa. As yet no 
irreparable steps have been taken in this direction, but the party 
in power believe they have much to gain and little to lose by 
this form of a spirited foreign policy " with limited liability." 
The Socialists and the Legitimists have been equally noisy and 
equally impotent. A recent accident to M. Gambetta has caused 
much anxiety to his friends, and the year closes with gloomy 
anticipations — not, we hope, to be realised — among those who 
still view M. Gambetta as the main hope of Republican France. 

Prince Bismarck temporarily withdrew from active politics 
some time ago. The German Chancellor had met with more 
than one rebuff at home, though the Prussian elections in the 
autumn showed signs of Conservative reaction. In January a 
"royal rescript" addressed to the Landtag had asserted the 
independence and initiative of the Crown. Officials were 
warned to vote for and with the King's Ministers. Prince 
Bismarck was resolved to carry his measures of State Socialism 
and to affirm his alliance with the Clericals by the revision of 
the Falk Laws. The battle begun in the Prussian Parliament 
was continued in the Reichstag without decisive results. The 
Chancellor's Tobacco Monopoly Bill was rejected by a great 
majority, as was his scheme, introduced in the autumn, for a 
biennial budget. 

But attention was drawn away more and more to foreign affairs. 
Germany, while abstaining from direct intervention in the East, 
carefully watched events in Egypt and Turkey. The smothered 
feud between Teuton and Slav threatened more than once to 
break out. General Skobeleff, not long before his death, 
attacked Germany in a speech at Paris to a Servian deputation, 
and revived the notions of a Franco-Russian alliance. Another 
scare troubled the German and Austrian Exchanges a couple of 
weeks ago, when rumours of Russia's warlike preparations on 


her western and south-western frontiers elicited a " reminder " 
that the Austro - German alliance was a strict and enduring 
compact. Austrian policy has closely followed that of Germany ; 
the two Powers have successfully laboured to prevent the re- 
opening of the Eastern Question. The English intervention in 
Egypt was tacitly favoured by the German and Austrian Govern- 
ments, and the unjust criticisms of a part of the popular Press 
were drowned in the general chorus of congratulation which 
greeted Sir Garnet Wolseley's success. 

Austria had troubles of her own in Dalmatia and Herze- 
govina, where an obstinate insurrection, aided by Panslavist 
propagandists in Montenegro, Servia, Russia, and Italy, was only 
overcome after months of fighting and the expenditure of a large 
sum, their share of which the Hungarian Delegation, jealous of 
the increase of Slav subjects, did not vote willingly. At Trieste 
the fanatics of Italia Irredenta thrice took advantage of the 
visits of the Emperor and his family to attempt murder by 
explosive bombs. These outrages, it is just to say, were con- 
demned by public opinion in Italy, where the Irredentist 
agitation has been visibly losing ground. 

The relations between the Vatican and the Italian Govern- 
ment have been severely strained, while the Republicans have 
assailed the throne with indecent and unscrupulous bitterness. 
The budget produced by Signor Magliani was the most satis- 
factory since the restoration of Italian unity, but it is doubtful 
whether the restlessness of the Italians, which has to be satisfied 
by large naval and military expenditure, will permit of a con- 
sistent economical policy. The excitement caused by the 
French occupation of Tunis was diverted to the Egyptian 
Expedition, which was nowhere more violently denounced. 
The Italian Government, though the mark for much censure, 
deserved and undeserved, obtained a good working majority at 
the autumn elections, the first taken under the extended suffrage 
and scrutin de liste. The character of the Parliament, however, 
has not, apparently, been improved. 

Parliamentary government in Spain, as in Italy, is passing 
through a period of trial. Senor Sagasta's Government has 
been threatened by the Advanced Liberals, led by Marshal 
Serrano, and though the Cortes have refused to restore the 
Democratic Constitution of 1869, it is probable that the King 
and the country are willing to move further in a Liberal 


direction. The surrender of three Cuban prisoners to the 
Spanish police by the authorities at Gibraltar was an inexcus- 
able blunder, promptly condemned and punished by the Home 
Government. The controversy has not improved our relations 
with Spain. The conclusion of a satisfactory commercial treaty 
with that country seems to be as far off as ever. 

Of the smaller European States there is little to record. 
Holland and Belgium, Switzerland and Denmark, Sweden and 
Norway, and even Portugal, have enjoyed peace and prosperity 
which their greater neighbours might envy. Servia has raised 
herself to the rank of a kingdom ; Bulgaria and Eastern 
Roumelia have been disturbed by political intrigues, which, 
fortunately, have not called for the interference of the great 
Powers. In Greece, M. Tricoupis has succeeded M. Coumoun- 
douros as Prime Minister, and disturbances on the Thessalian 
border have extorted fresh concessions from Turkey. 

The state of Russia has been disquieting, though the 
revolutionary forces have been controlled by extraordinary 
measures of repression. A State trial, in which twenty Nihilist 
prisoners were arraigned for complicity in the late Czar's murder 
and similar crimes, was followed by fresh, outrages and fresh 
arrests. It was discovered that the conspirators had accomplices, 
some even of high rank, among the officials, civil and military. 
The Czar's dread of sharing his father's fate was not lessened by 
these disclosures. His retirement from public life still continues. 
The persecution of the Jews, somewhat checked by the indignant 
protests of the civilised world, is by no means at an end, and 
Russia from this cause has lost many thousands of her best 

In foreign affairs Russia has shown unusual reserve, due, 
perhaps, to her internal anxieties. The Egyptian difficulties 
and the torpor of the Porte gave occasion for protests which 
were not allowed to pass into action. The Central Asian con- 
quests were consolidated, though no step in advance was taken. 
The retrocession of a part of Kuldja to China, settled in the 
previous year, was accomplished. The Panslavist agitation, 
which brings Russia into repressed conflict with Germany, 
Austria, and Turkey, has been discouraged by the appointment 
of M. de Giers as Prince GortchakofPs successor, by the dismissal 
of Count Ignatieff, and by the censures passed on General 
SkobelefFs harangues. It has been active, though with no 


serious consequences, in Turkey and the border lands, checked, 
however, by the influence of Germany at the Porte. Questions 
arising out of the war indemnity threatened to embroil Turkey 
and Russia, but they were settled after a series of palace 
intrigues and Ministerial changes. The policy of the Sultan 
on this and other points was vacillating and feeble. In Egypt 
its mischiefs were outweighed by the fact that it fortunately 
left England free. Abdul Hamid, in his recent abrupt and 
inexplicable changes of Ministry, has been manifestly governed 
by the fear of arousing Moslem fanaticism against him. He 
believes, if no one else does, in the revival of Islam, which has 
taken menacing shape in Tripoli, the Soudan, and Arabia. 

Happily, it has been proved that this movement does not 
affect the Mussulmans of India. The Indian Contingent was 
sent to Egypt with the full approval of the co-religionists of 
Arabi. The Indian Empire has enjoyed unbroken peace. A 
British agent has been welcomed at Cabul. Beyond the North- 
West frontier there has arisen no serious cause for disquietude ; 
the provocations of the King of Burmah have been restrained 
by a late-learned prudence ; an impending revolution in Nepal 
has been averted. The Government of India has been able to 
give exclusive attention to internal affairs. The policy of de- 
centralisation and local government has been extended in several 
parts of India. In Bengal its administrative success under Sir 
Ashley Eden has been vigorously followed up by Mr. Rivers 
Thompson. Lord Ripon's scheme, however, met with consider- 
able criticism in Bombay, and the expediency of giving the 
natives g^uasi-representative institutions has been much ques- 
tioned. A gratifying improvement in the finances was 
announced in Major Baring's budget, which removed the 
remaining import duties on cotton goods and reduced the salt- 
tax to a low and equal level. 

Turning from India to the Colonies, we have again to 
chi'onicle tranquil and uneventful progress. South Africa is 
not yet free from the ground-swell left by former troubles, but 
even in the Transvaal and Zululand no grave dangers have 
appeared. The Boers have been in conflict with their native 
neighbours, and the resolution of the Home Government to 
restore Cetywayo in spite of protests from Natal may, when 
carried out, bring the Zulu King into collision with John Dunn 
and the other chiefs among whom the country was divided. 


Basutoland is still in part unreconciled to the Cape Government, 
and the hesitating measures of the Scanlan Ministry have led to 
a breach with " Chinese Gordon," who had been selected for the 
task of restoring peace on the frontier. The colony, neverthe- 
less, has prospered, though not, of course, to the same extent 
as colonies like those of Australia, untroubled by a "native 

The Australian colonies have been encouraged by their 
abounding prosperity to borrow largely, mainly for the con- 
struction of railways and other public works, so that the assets, 
in addition to the unsold lands, are considerable. In Victoria, 
which still adheres to a Protectionist policy. Sir Bryan O'Loghlen's 
Ministry continues in power. In New South Wales, where 
free trade principles are in the ascendant, the Parkes-Kobertson 
Cabinet has been defeated on an appeal to the constituencies in 
favour of the long-tried but, it is said, much-abused system of 
" free selection " of the public domain. 

In New Zealand, where the land question is complicated by 
the claims of the Maories, the native diflficulty has almost dis- 
appeared since the arrest of Te Whiti. The frequent political 
changes are of little interest outside the colony, which goes on 
borrowing and making railways with unabated confidence. 

The Canadian Dominion presents scarcely one point of 
resemblance to the colonies of the south. Its policy is in- 
fluenced by the great neighbouring Eepublic, both in the way 
of attraction and of repulsion. Sir John Macdonald's Ministry 
appealed this year to the constituencies on the Protection 
question, when the free-trade Opposition were beaten by nearly 
two to one. An important section of the Canadian Pacific 
Railway has been completed, and the work of welding together 
the different sections of the Dominion has at length been 
fairly taken in hand. 

The quietude of Canada has been promoted by the absence 
of political excitement in the United States. President Arthur's 
Administration having fallen, as had been anticipated, under 
the control of the " stalwart " wing of the Republican party, a 
schism became inevitable. The " reformers " and " independ- 
ents" protested against the power placed in the hands of 
" machine politicians," though for the time in vain. An 
attempt to stir up American sentiment against England, on the 
ground of the arrests and detention of Irish-Americans under 


Mr. Forster's warrants, culminated in the denunciation of Mr. 
Lowell as a traitor to his country's traditions. This mischievous 
folly was checked by the Phcenix Park tragedy. The President 
vetoed a Bill prohibiting Chinese immigration, but afterwards 
allowed another to pass limited to a period of ten years. 
Mormonism was also struck at by Congress, though as yet with- 
out visible results. 

In spite of a prolonged and disastrous strike in the iron and 
steel trade, the United States have prospered exceedingly in 
commerce and industry, and the Secretary of the Treasury in 
his annual report was able to show that an unprecedented 
reduction of the public debt had been achieved. It is now 
proposed by the President and his Ministers to put a drag on 
this reduction, lest the protective system should be imperilled. 
It is not probable, however, that the tariff will be left un- 
changed. Even the Protectionists on the Tariff Commission 
recognise the necessity of making large concessions in order to 
save something. To this point they have been brought by the 
unexpected issue of the "Fall Elections." The Kepublicans, 
divided and discontented, are now vastly outnumbered by the 
Democrats in the House of Eepresentatives, and retain only a 
bare majority in the Senate. President Arthur's Administra- 
tion has hopelessly lost credit and authority in the country, and 
the Democratic party, in the main a free-trade party, are con- 
fident that they will succeed in obtaining the control of the 
Executive two years hence. 

Among non-political events, unnoticed elsewhere, the use of 
electricity for illumination has been furthered by the exhibitions 
at the Crystal Palace and at Munich, as well as by the successful 
experiments in street-lighting in London and other towns. 

In the literary world much interest was caused by the sales 
of the Hamilton and the Sunderland Libraries by their ducal 
owners. Though many entertaining and instructive books 
have been published during the year, none of them can be 
described as epoch-making, and the same thing may be said of 
the fine arts in England. 

Among many remarkable trials at home and abroad, the 
most remarkable was the case of " Belt v. Lawes," lasting forty- 
three days and ending in a verdict for the plaintiff with .£5000 
damages. The convictions of Lamson for the murder of his 
brother-in-law, and of Mary Furneaux for personation and fraud, 


attracted attention, but nothing like the trial of the Fenayrous 
for murder and of the managers of the Union G^n^rale for 
fraud in France, or the prosecution of the Peltzers in Belgium 
and of officials charged with responsibility for the Ring 
Theatre fire at Vienna. The trial of Guiteau at Washington 
for the murder of General Garfield degenerated into an unseemly 
farce, to which the postponement of the convict's execution 
added a ghastly element. 

An extraordinary number of destructive fires in this and 
other countries has been recorded during the past few weeks. 
The Alhambra Theatre was destroyed ; a mass of valuable 
warehouses near Wood Street were burned down, and Hampton 
Court Palace narrowly escaped the same fate. More than one 
country house rich in art treasures and historic associations was 
laid in ruins ; the co-operative stores in Dublin were burned 
out ; the business quarter of Kingston, in Jamaica, was con- 

Among other miscellaneous topics of interest may be noticed 
the Channel Tunnel controversy, which for the present has 
been ended by the report of the military authorities adverse to 
the scheme ; the spread of temperance, especially through, the 
" Blue Riband " movement, and the campaigns, attended by 
disturbances in many parts, of the Salvation Army. The 
election of the School Board for London, which took place in 
November, was remarkable for the absence of popular excite- 
ment and party bitterness. The policy of the former Board is 
likely to be, in the main, upheld for the next three years. 

The year has been fatal to an unusual number of distin- 
guished men. We have already noticed the tragic fate of Lord 
Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke. Archbishop Tait was a 
worthy representative of the moderation and the earnestness, 
the spirit of compromise and the wideness of view, which are 
the most characteristic marks of the Anglican communion and 
the ripest fruit of a rational and honourable union between 
Church and State. The late Primate, the appointment of whose 
successor. Dr. Benson, Bishop of Truro, has been announced, 
never gave up to party what was consecrated to a church em- 
bracing many parties. Of a very different type was Dr. Pusey, 
the chief — perhaps against his will — of a party and a move- 
ment, excelling Dr. Tait as much in force of character as in 
profundity of learning, but certainly not distinguished by the 


same solid judgment. Another coeval of these, Dr. W. G. 
Ward, whose "Ideal of a Christian Church" was one of the 
turning-points of the Tractarian crisis, died, as he had lived for 
more than a generation, a devoted servant of the Church of 
Rome. At the opposite pole of religious thought stood Dr. 
Close, Dean of Carlisle, the most thorough-going of "Evan- 
gelicals." Dr. OUivant, Bishop of Llandaff, was widely known 
as a scholar, and enjoyed a high reputation throughout the 

In the political world will be missed Mr. Bernal Osborne, 
the brightest and most incisive of Parliamentary satirists ; Sir 
George Grey, a Whig statesman of long experience ; Lord 
Harrowby, a moderate Conservative ; Lord Tenterden, Per- 
manent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, cut off in middle 
life ; Mr. Mountague Bernard, a jurist, popularly known as one 
of the negotiators of the Washington Treaty ; and Sir Erskine 
Perry, of the Council of India. Sir John Holker, the most 
genial and popular of Tory lawyers, filled only for a brief 
space the office of Lord Justice of Appeal, to which he was 
raised by his political opponents. 

Turning to literature, we have to record the death of Mr. 
Anthony TroUope, whose kindly and pleasant pictures of 
English society have delighted thousands incapable of appreciat- 
ing the moral tragedy of George Eliot or the ironic mingling of 
laughter and tears in Thackeray. Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, a 
veteran in an almost forgotten school of novel- writing, and Mr. 
Rice, associated with Mr. Besant in admirable fictions of a new 
school, have passed away. Sir Henry Cole, the embodiment of 
South Kensington ; Dr. John Brown, of Edinburgh, the genial 
author of Horoe Subsecivce ; and Denis Florence McCarthy, an 
Irish poet, best known as the translator of Calderon, demand 
their places in the obituary of the year. 

Art has lost the great names of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and 
John Linnell, of Hablot Knight Browne, familiar to two genera- 
tions as " Phiz," and of Cecil Lawson. Science has suffered 
still more severely. In the " immortal bead-roll " of scientific 
glory there is no greater name since Newton's than that of 
Charles Darwin. The work of Darwin's life was well-nigh done 
when he was taken away in the ripeness of years, and when the 
clouds of controversial bitterness which long darkened his 
reputation had been dispersed. Francis Balfour, a young man. 


whose promise and performance at the age of thirty justified the 
hopes of his friends that his name might be one day ranked 
with Darwin's, lost his life in an unfortunate Alpine ascent 
Sir C. Wyville Thompson, who will be remembered in connec- 
tion with the Challenger Expedition, and Mr. Scott Russell, the 
illustrious engineer and shipbuilder, are also gone. Professor 
Cliffe Leslie, Professor Jevons, and Mr. Newraarch, representa- 
tives of very different types and schools of thought, have been 
lost to political economy. 

In medicine, three men of eminence in a former generation — 
Sir Robert Christison, Sir James Alderson, and Sir Thomas 
Watson — have passed away. Professor Palmer, an accomplished 
Orientalist, sacrificed his life in a patriotic effort to do service 
to his country by securing the aid or neutrality of the Bedouins 
on the Red Sea coast during the Egyptian campaign. With 
him perished Captain Gill, one of the most enterprising of 
Asiatic explorers, and Lieutenant Charrington. 

In France have been recorded the deaths of Maitre Lachaud, 
the eminent criminal lawyer, of General de Cissey and General 
Ducrot, of the economist Le Play, and of Louis Blanc, the 
ablest literary advocate of Socialism, long a resident in England ; 
in Germany, of the novelist Auerbach, the physiologist Schwann, 
and the historian Pauli; in Spain, of the Carlist chief Dorregaray ; 
in Russia, of General Kaufmann, the conqueror and organiser of 
Turkestan, and of General Skobeleff, the popular hero of the 
campaign against Turkey. 

Italy has to mourn a greater name, though for years past 
Garibaldi had ceased to be more than nominis umhra. His 
task as the knight -errant of Italian unity and freedom had 
been accomplished, and the practical results did not realise the 
ideal shaped in his imagination and his heart by the teachings 
of Mazzini. Another Italian patriot, though very unlike 
Garibaldi, Signor Lanza, formerly Prime Minister and one of 
those Piedmontese who laboured to engraft the robust political 
quality of Cavour's country upon the laxer growths of South 
Italian character, died early in the year. 

The United States have lost two of the greatest names in the 
literature of America — Longfellow, perhaps the most popular of 
modern poets, and Emerson, the most original thinker the New 
World has yet produced. Mr. R. H. Dana, the author of that 
charming book Two Years before the Mast, who achieved a high 


reputation in later life as an authority on international law, 
had not reached the patriarchal age of Longfellow and Emerson ; 
but even the years of the latter were surpassed by the veteran 
wire-puller Thurlow Weed, a potent though inconspicuous actor 
in American politics during more than half a century. 


The year 1883, though it will not be remembered for 
any political events of the first order of importance, leaves 
behind it a record of diversified interest. Uneasiness and 
anxiety are not wanting, but there are also consoling and hope- 
ful elements to be taken into account. At home, party spirit 
has not mastered the common sense and moderation of the 
country. Mr. Gladstone's Government, so far as can be dis- 
covered, retains a large part, if not the whole, of the popularity 
with which it began its career nearly four years ago. The 
Opposition have obviously not obtained such a hold upon the 
confidence of the electors as would enable them to challenge a 
contest with any assured hope of forming, in the event of 
success, a strong Administration. At the same time there are 
sufficient indications of the prevalence of Conservative opinions 
among all classes to discourage rash adventures into the region of 
organic change. The efforts to restore the authority of the law 
in Ireland have been generally successful, though there are as 
yet few, if any, signs that the boons liberally bestowed by Par- 
liament on the tenantry have rallied the Celtic masses to the 
cause of order and loyalty. 

On the Continent the attitude of the great military States is 
so far in favour of the maintenance of peace on the basis of the 
status quo that all appear to have realised the tremendous risks 
of a war, for which, nevertheless, they are incessantly sharpen- 
ing their weapons. France, impatient at her enforced impotence 
in Europe, has sought for compensation in a policy of restless- 
ness and aggression in lands where, though she is freed from 
the danger of conflict with Germany, she is in contact with 
the ubiquitous commercial activity and the widely ramifying 


political interests of the British Empire. We are more for- 
tunate in Egypt, in spite of recent complications, since the task 
we have there taken in hand is recognised by common consent 
as one which England only can adequately carry out. The 
problems presented for the time being by our Colonial and 
Indian policy are not without difficulties of their own, but they 
are such as must always be looked for in the large and complex 
business of Imperial government. The revenue has not answered 
to the high hopes which were formed when, two or three years 
ago, it was believed that the country was about to enter on 
a period of prosperity. There has been no positive decline, but 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as well as non-official critics, 
has pointed out a want of elasticity in the main sources of the 
national income. 

It is probable that the calculations of the Budget introduced 
in April last will be borne out by the receipts during the 
remainder of the financial year, but the state of trade and 
industry is not such as to lead us to look for a rapid and start- 
ling change for the better. The fitful and trying vicissitudes of 
the climate of these islands have once more blighted the pro- 
spects of the agricultural classes, after encouraging the hope 
that at last the rancour of fortune had worn itself out. A wet 
and stormy winter was followed by a spring which, though 
scourged by bitter east winds, allowed the soil to dry and get 
freed from weeds. There was a short spell of very fine weather 
in May and June, but July, the most critical month for the 
harvest, was for the most part cold and damp ; and though 
there was a decided improvement afterwards, it came too late 
to make the wheat crop more than an average one. The hay 
suffered at first from drought and subsequently from excessive 
rain ; the hops and the fruit crops, which were most promising 
almost to the end of the summer, were disastrously beaten 
about by the storms of August and September. On the whole, 
the harvest, though far above the level of the melancholy years 
1879-80, was scarcely as satisfactory as in 1882. The farming 
interest, too, suffered severely by the repeated outbreaks of 
foot-and-mouth disease during the summer and autumn, 
which were the more felt because the increase of live stock 
shown by the agricultural returns proved that there had been 
a disposition to substitute the breeding of cattle and sheep 
for unremunerative forms of tillage. How far this tendency 


will be checked by tbe recent ravages of cattle disease it is 
difficult to say. 

Meanwhile, the depression of agriculture, which is still our 
most important industry, continues to affect every branch of our 
home trade and, indirectly, to interfere with the growth of the 
revenue. These losses have not been counterbalanced by any 
development of foreign commerce. Both in Europe and in 
America manufacturing enterprise is fostered by protective 
duties, which exclude or hamper British trade, and of which 
there is at present little prospect of obtaining the repeal, or 
even the mitigation. It is matter for congratulation in these 
circumstances that business of the "hand-to-mouth" sort is 
fairly maintained, and that strikes and lockouts, which have 
threatened a suspension of operations in several important 
departments of industry, have been in several cases averted, or 
at all events postponed. 

The Ministerial changes at the close of last year, resulting 
from Mr. Gladstone's resignation of the Exchequer, an exchange 
of offices between Mr. Childers, Lord Kimberley, Lord Harting- 
ton, and Mr. Dodson, and the admission to the Cabinet of Lord 
Derby and Sir Charles Dilke, were completed at the beginning 
of January by some important, though inferior, appointments. 
Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice became Under-Secretary at the 
Foreign Office, and Mr. J. K. Cross at the India Office. Mr. 
Brand, the Speaker's son, was made Surveyor-General of the 
Ordnance. Some months later, on the resignation of Lord 
Kosebery, Mr. Hibbert was appointed Under-Secretary for the 
Home Department, and a place was found for Mr. George 
Russell as Secretary of the Local Government Board. But in 
its essential composition the Administration remained unchanged 
throughout the year. 

It was expected that the Prime Minister would have 
addressed his constituents, as his leading colleagues had done, 
before the meeting of Parliament, which was fixed for the 1 5 th 
of February ; but, in deference to urgent medical advice, the 
Midlothian visit was postponed, and Mr. Gladstone went for 
a few weeks to Cannes, returning with renewed health and 
strength in time to face the toils of the session. Political feel- 
ing was not strongly moved out of doors by the movements and 
counter-movements of Parliamentary parties, and the unceasing 
efforts of politicians on both sides to damage their opponents by 


platform attacks produced, apparently, little effect. The battle- 
ground of parties has, indeed, been to a great extent transferred 
from the Legislature to the constituencies, and the party leaders, 
as well as the rank and file, feel themselves called upon to 
defend their position and assail their enemies at public meet- 
ings, in the newspapers, and in periodical publications. An 
incessant fire is thus kept up out of doors as well as in Parlia- 
ment, and popular attention is no longer fixed only upon the 
measures immediately prosecuted by the Government. The 
Prime Minister, in the midst of the labours of the session, en- 
couraged his party in a powerful speech delivered at the open- 
ing of the National Liberal Club ; Mr. Chamberlain, both before 
and afterwards, has boldly "carried the war into Africa," de. 
nouncing those " who toil not, neither do they spin," with 
special application to the peers and individually to Lord 

On the other hand, the Conservative chiefs were not less 
energetic and aggressive. Lord Salisbury and Sir Stafford 
Northcote, as well as others of less conspicuous and responsible 
position, seized every opportunity of placing^ their views before 
the country. It was probably deemed prudent to disperse by a 
striking manifestation of concord the rumours of rivalry and 
strife to which Lord Kandolph Churchill had given colour by a 
letter published in the Times soon after Easter, Both on the 
Liberal and on the Conservative side the exigencies of party 
mastered any differences of opinion and personal jealousies. It was 
noted that this session was the first since the general election in 
which the Government had lost none of its members through a 
disagreement on matters of policy, for Lord Eosebery's resign- 
ation, avowedly to facilitate the Ministerial arrangements, was 
not to be compared with the successive losses of the Marquis of 
Lansdowne, the Duke of Argyll, Mr. Forster, and Mr. Bright. 

No sooner was Parliament prorogued than the flood-gates of 
platform oratory were opened wider than ever. Both parties 
seemed to feel that the next session would be a critical one. 
The Conservative Opposition assailed the whole policy of 
Ministers at home and abroad, denouncing especially the con- 
duct of affairs in Ireland, Egypt, and South Africa. The 
Liberals believed they had a good defence to offer on all the 
points attacked, but a purely defensive position is always more 
or less a weak one in politics ; and it was felt that the time had 


come to lay aside secondary projects of legislation and to bring 
forward prominently measures which might be supposed to 
address themselves more powerfully to popular conviction and 
sentiment. The London Municipality Bill, which had been 
thrust aside during the session by the Corrupt Practices Bill 
and the Agricultural Holdings Bill, was not deemed strong 
enough for the main pillar of a policy leading, perhaps, to an 
obstinate Parliamentary conflict and an appeal to the con- 
stituencies. A conference of the representatives of Liberal 
organisations was held at Leeds, at which it was resolved, in 
spite of the objections urged by those interested in the abolition 
of the old Corporation of London and of the existing adminis- 
trative authorities in the counties, to insist that the Government 
should give precedence next year to the promised measure of 
Parliamentary reform. The cry of " Franchise first " was gener- 
ally taken up by Liberal politicians, and appeared to have the 
approval of Liberal gatherings. The advocates of the other 
measures were placated by the assurance that the session would 
not be devoted to the extension of the suffrage only. 

The attitude of the Conservatives was one of " cautious ob- 
servation," a policy commended to his friends subsequently by 
Sir Stafford Northcote, but not one calculated to produce a 
striking effect upon public opinion. Even the more energetic 
spokesmen of the Opposition, Lord Salisbury in England and 
Mr. Gibson in Scotland, contented themselves with suggesting 
difficulties and demanding that the whole of the Government 
scheme should be disclosed before a decisive judgment was 
demanded upon it from Parliament and the country. 

At the Guildhall banquet on Lord Mayor's Day the Prime 
Minister ridiculed the precision of the current rumours with 
respect to the order and the character of coming legislation, but 
Mr. Chamberlain, speaking not long after at Bristol, left no 
doubt that the matter was practically settled. Declaring his 
personal preference for manhood suffrage, he insisted that the 
Liberal party was pledged, at the least, to the introduction of 
household suffrage in the counties throughout the whole of the 
United Kingdom, and that the work was too weighty and diffi- 
cult to be postponed to any other. Redistribution, he con- 
tended, must be left to be dealt with in a later measure. Lord 
Hartington, in a speech delivered immediately afterwards at 
Manchester, was understood to throw some doubts on the points 



which Mr. Chamberlain treated as incontestable. He pointed 
out that there were many practical difficulties to be surmounted 
which the Leeds Conference had not considered, that the inclu- 
sion of Ireland in the Bill would excite Liberal as well as Con- 
servative resistance, that the abolition of the property qualifica- 
tions in counties would be unpopular, and that the separation 
of the franchise question from that of redistribution might, as 
in 1866, endanger the whole scheme. From this hesitating 
attitude the Secretary for War apparently receded in a subse- 
quent speech at Manchester. At all events, the advanced 
section of the Liberals did not alter their chosen line of 
policy, in which many politicians of the moderate school, 
such as Mr. Goschen and Mr. Forster, seemed not unwilling 
to follow them. 

The Reform controversy, though it produced no popular 
excitement, was the chief political topic of domestic interest in 
the latter half of the year. At the beginning of the recess Mr. 
Gladstone, exhausted by the labours of the session, went, in 
company with Mr. Tennyson and others, for a cruise round the 
coast of Scotland, and thence to the Baltic, in one of Sir Donald 
Currie's steamers. At Copenhagen the Emperor and Empress 
of Russia, and the King of Greece, who, with the Princess of 
Wales and her children, formed part of the family circle at the 
Danish Court, visited the Pembrohe Castle, and an interchange 
of complimentary speeches took place, on which some political 
gossips abroad and at home founded absurd conjectures of anti- 
German alliances. Little attention, however, was paid to these 
speculations, which the course of events as well as the reason of 
the case showed to be wholly unfounded. 

While Sir Stafford Northcote undertook a political pilgrim- 
age through Ulster and North Wales, Lord Salisbury denounced 
the policy of the Government, foreign and domestic, in an 
article published under the title of "Disintegration" in the 
Quarterly Review. A more practical and less indefinite issue 
was brought conspicuously forward by him in a paper " On the 
Housing of the Poor." The evils of overcrowding and of un- 
wholesome dwellings had been pointed at, not for the first time, 
as a public scandal by religious and philanthropic workers 
among the poor, but Lord Salisbury's statement of the case 
commanded the attention of statesmen. The same tone of 
moderation and caution has not been observed throughout the 


discussion. Mr. Chamberlain, in taking up the question, made 
it a text for an attack on the landowning classes on whom he 
proposed to throw the charge of removing insanitary dwellings 
and replacing them by good houses built under municipal 
direction. Lord Shaftesbury and others practically acquainted 
with the condition of the poor protested against this method of 
proceeding, not only as unjust, but as fatal to voluntary effort 
and the working out of natural remedies. The demand, how- 
ever, was taken up by the advocates of municipal reform for 
London, who, accepting the fact that the existing law was 
strong enough if put in force, contended that the fault lay with 
the vestrymen, and that a change could only be hoped for by 
placing local administration in other hands. The more drastic 
remedies suggested for evils deplored by all were looked upon 
with the more alarm and suspicion by moderate men, inasmuch 
as during the year a Socialist propaganda, advocating the doc- 
trines of " Land Nationalisation " developed in America by Mr. 
Henry George, had been active and noisy. At the same time 
the popular distrust of State interference has been much 
weakened, as was shown by the absence of opposition to the 
extension of ofl&cial control and patronage under the Bankruptcy 
Act, and the confidence with which Mr. Chamberlain has put 
forward a scheme for getting rid of unsea worthy ships by limit- 
ing the right of shipowners and shippers to protect themselves 
by insurance against loss. 

The bye-elections of the year afforded few opportunities of 
testing the movements of public opinion. In Ireland they 
went almost without exception in Mr. Parnell's favour. Whigs, 
advanced Liberals, and moderate Home Rulers had to give way 
to his candidates in the South. In Ulster the Orange revival 
generally aided the Conservatives. In Great Britain gains and 
losses were pretty evenly balanced. Liberal and Conservative 
seats were in most cases retained. The Rutland contest seemed 
to show that the farmers had not been won over by Liberal 
legislation. At Manchester a Radical and an advocate of Home 
Rule for Ireland was discountenanced by the local organisation, 
and his Conservative opponent secured an easy victory. Later 
in the year the Opposition captured a Liberal seat at York and 
the Ministerialists a Conservative seat at Ipswich. 

It was rumoured early in the year that Sir Henry Brand 
was unwilling to face the fatigues of another session in the 


Speaker's chair, and the choice of his successor, for whom a 
Government with a large majority would, of course, be able to 
secure the nomination, was awaited with much interest. It 
became known that the offer had been made informally to Mr. 
Goschen, who declined it on the ground of his imperfect eye- 
sight, and that the law ofl&cers of the Crown also wonld have 
been nominated if they had wished it. The choice of the 
Government fell finally upon Mr. Arthur Peel, M.P. for War- 
wick, the youngest son of the great statesman, who had filled 
some minor ofl&ces under Mr. Gladstone, and had even been 
appointed "Whip" in 1873, though he had never discharged 
the duties of that post. It has been reported that the Oppo- 
sition will put forward a candidate against Mr. Peel, but the 
Ministerial majority is too great to render this at all probable. 

Early in January the authority of the law in Ireland was 
powerfully vindicated in many different directions. Mr. Healy 
and Mr. Davitt, with one of their associates, were committed to 
prison by the Queen's Bench for contempt of Court, having 
refused to engage not to repeat language provocative of a breach 
of the peace. Mr. O'Brien, editor of United Ireland, was in- 
dicted for a libel charging Lord Spencer with having bribed 
juries to secure convictions for murder, but in this case a con- 
viction was defeated by a disagreement of the jury. Mr. 
O'Brien, while his trial was pending, was elected M.P. for 
Mallow, obtaining a large majority over the Solicitor-General. 
Mr. Healy, who resigned his seat for Wexford at the beginning 
of his imprisonment, stood for Monaghan, where a Liberal 
vacancy had been created, soon after his release, and was 
returned by a sufficient number of votes over the Conserva- 
tive candidate, leaving the Liberal with a mere handful at the 
bottom of the poll. 

But these political developments were preceded by events of 
a more stirring sort. While the authors of the Lough Mask 
and the Castleisland murders were expiating their guilt with 
their lives, the detective police in Dublin, who had been brought 
to a high state of efficiency under Mr. Jenkinson, and who had 
got hold of a clue by means of the secret inquiries held under 
the Crimes Act, suddenly swooped down upon and captured a 
number of men suspected of complicity in criminal organisations. 
The examination before the magistrates at Kilmainham incul- 
pated the prisoners not only in connection with the attempt on 


Mr. Field's life, but with tlie Phoenix Park tragedy. Two or 
three informers were produced, whose revelations, especially in 
regard to a series of abortive attempts to murder Mr. Forster, 
were startling enough, but they were all thrown into the shade 
by the transfer from the dock to the witness-box of James 
Carey, the most important personage among the prisoners, a 
well-known Nationalist, a devout Roman Catholic, and a coun- 
cillor of the City Corporation. Carey had been, as it proved, 
the centre of a murderous conspiracy, taking the name of 
" The Invincibles " ; the Phoenix Park atrocity was planned 
and' in a measure accomplished by him, the actual assassins 
being among the men in custody. Before the magistrates, and 
afterwards at the trial, Carey gave an elaborate and unrefuted 
account of the manner in which the scheme for the " removal " 
of Mr. Burke, the Under-Secretary, was carried out, affirming 
that Lord Frederick Cavendish was unknown to the murderers, 
and became a victim through his accidental presence on the 
scene. He identified Brady, Kelly, Curley, and others as con- 
cerned in the affair, and sufficient corroborative evidence was 
forthcoming to justify the Crown, ably represented by Mr. 
Murphy, Q.C., who was soon after raised to the Bench, in 
indicting several of the prisoners for the murder in the Phoenix 
Park, others for the attack on Mr. Field, and the remainder for 
conspiracy to murder. 

The trials took place in April before Mr. Justice O'Brien, 
who displayed remarkable ability, firmness, and patience 
throughout, assisted, it must be said, by juries who did their 
duty with dignity and courage. Brady, Curley, and Fagan 
were convicted of murder, as was also Kelly, who nearly 
escaped, however, through repeated disagreements of the jury ; 
Caffrey and Delaney pleaded guilty on the same charge, the 
latter, who had been serving a term of penal servitude for the 
attempt on Judge Lawson's life, protesting that he was driven 
by threats into these criminal courses, and confirming the truth 
of Carey's chief statements. Five of the prisoners suffered the 
extreme penalty of the law, and they have since been treated by 
the Nationalist party in America and in Ireland as martyrs. 
The storm of execration which burst upon Carey was due quite 
as much to the semi-political disclosures in his evidence as to 
the fact that he gave Brady and his comrades to the gallows. 
He let in the light on the nature and working of the organisa- 


tions through which the terrorism of the preceding years had 
been enforced ; he showed how they were connected with the 
Land League through men like Sheridan, who had prompted 
" The Invincibles " to the murder of Mr. Forster, and who was, 
nevertheless, one of the agents recommended to the Government 
by Mr. Pamell at the time of the Kilmainham transaction 
as capable of " pacifying " the country. True Bills were found 
against Sheridan and two other persons who had been in close 
relations with Carey — Walsh and Tynan, the latter being 
identified with the mysterious figure " No. 1 " — by the Dublin 
Grand Jury, but there was no chance of obtaining their extra- 
dition from the United States. 

The Government for some time detained Carey and the other 
informers in safe custody, but arrangements were finally made 
for sending them as privately as possible abroad, which were 
unexpectedly obstructed by the reluctance of the Colonies to 
receive or be responsible for them. In Victoria the Govern- 
ment directly interfered to prevent the landing of a batch of 
informers. Carey was less fortunate. Sailing for South Africa, 
under an assumed name, he was shot at sea between the Cape 
and Natal by a fellow-passenger, who turned out to be an Irish- 
American named O'Donnell. This murder was hailed with a 
shout of savage joy in Ireland and the United States, and money 
was duly subscribed for O'Donnell's defence when he was placed 
on his trial at the Old Bailey. In spite of the brilliant and 
ingenious advocacy of Mr. Charles Eussell — which has raised 
the curious question, as yet unsettled in principle, of the right 
of counsel to lay statements of fact before the jury on behalf of 
prisoners — there could be no doubt whatever of O'Donnell's 
guilt, and his conviction was promptly followed by his execu- 
tion. The demand for a respite, preferred by the American 
Government in deference to the Irish vote, was courteously, but 
firmly, rejected. 

The punishment of the Phoenix Park assassins, following 
chat of the Maamtrasna, Lough Mask, and Castleisland mur- 
derers, tended to break up the remaining centres of local 
terrorism, and in the North, as well as in the South and West, 
some less important " murder conspiracies " were exposed and 
hunted down. The result was that towards the close of the 
year Mr. Trevelyan was able to announce a great diminution of 


Spasmodic efforts had, however, been made to transfer the 
campaign to England. Early in the spring London was 
startled by the simultaneous attempts to blow up the Local 
Government Board buildings and the office of this journal. 
Other projects of the same wicked sort were detected or sus- 
pected elsewhere. At Birmingham the police, following up a 
slender clue with much patience and skill, discovered a secret 
manufactory of nitro-glycerine and evidence of the proprietor's 
communications with a number of men, chiefly Irish- Americans, 
arrested in London, Glasgow, and elsewhere, with explosives in 
their possession. Parliament meanwhile had passed the Ex- 
plosives Bill with exemplary promptitude. On the trial 
Norman, one of the prisoners, appeared as an informer, and 
four of the others, convicted of having planned the destruction 
of several public buildings, of having brought over funds from 
America for the purpose, and of having explosives in readiness 
for use, were sentenced to penal servitude for life. A similar 
conspiracy at Glasgow was afterwards brought to light, and the 
criminals have recently been convicted and punished at Edin- 
burgh. Alarm sprang up afresh a few months later, when an 
attempt was made with partial success to produce a destructive 
explosion at two points on the Metropolitan and District Rail- 
ways about the same hour. Though a good deal of injury was 
done to a train near Praed Street, the design was on the whole 
baffled ; the authors have not been discovered, though no doubt 
remains that the means and the motives were the same as in 
the earlier outrages. 

The formation of the '* National League " in Ireland at the 
close of 1882 was followed up this year by attempts to extend 
the new organisation — the Land League, under a slight dis- 
guise — throughout the country. Meetings were convened for 
this purpose, at which the spokesmen of the Separatist party 
denounced the Government, and painted glowing pictures of 
the advantages, political and material, to be gained by " Home 
Rule." The authorities refrained from interference unless when 
there was reason to believe that these appeals to popular passion 
would lead to actual crime. In several cases where a renewal 
of outrages was feared, proclamations under the Crimes Act 
were issued, and later on, though after some hesitation, the 
Government decided on adopting the same course in Ulster, 
where the " Nationalist invasion " had roused the opposition of 


the Orangemen. Mr. Healy's election in Monaghan encouraged 
his party to hope that Ulster might be won over, but the pro- 
posal to organise the National League in the North provoked, 
not only in Monaghan, but in Tyrone and Fermanagh, and in 
the towns of Derry and Newry, so violent a demonstration of 
hostility to the disloyal that at length the meetings on both 
sides were "proclaimed" in order to prevent danger to the 
public peace. While the tide of Orange feeling was rising high 
Sir Stafford Northcote paid a long-promised visit to Belfast. 
His speeches were in a reserved and tolerant tone, but he was, 
of course, unable to avoid recognising the manifestation of the 
loyal spirit, even when disfigured by obsolete and sectarian 

The Nationalists have now practically abandoned the hope 
of getting a footing in Ulster, and in their disappointment 
they have charged the Government with partiality towards the 
Tories and the Orangemen. The accusation is an absurd one, 
for the Orangemen are not less bitter against Lord Spencer and 
his advisers. Lord Eossmore's removal from the Commission 
of the Peace, on the ground that he had taken an active part in 
organising one of the Orange counter-demonstrations, did not 
satisfy the Nationalists, who have even refused to give evidence 
before the Commissioners sent to inquire into the Derry dis- 

Mr. Parnell, who had maintained a perplexing reserve during 
the greater part of the year, was preparing to reveal his policy. 
It was thought that he might draw nearer to the Government 
on the common ground of the Franchise Bill, but his speech at 
the Dublin banquet on the 10th inst., when it was announced 
that a "national tribute" of .£38,000 had been collected for 
him, showed that he was resolved to continue the struggle for 
"independence" by the old irreconcilable methods. The 
" tribute " had originated nominally as a protest against Mr. 
Forster's exposure of the Land League and its chief, but it was 
more energetically promoted as a counter-stroke to the condem- 
nation of the League in the Pope's letter to the Irish bishops. 
Dr. Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, who had met with a rebuke 
from the Vatican for his activity on behalf of Mr. Parnell, con- 
tinued to support the fund, and wherever the National League 
established its branches the "tribute" throve. The present- 
ation was made the occasion for the delivery of speeches of 


which the object was apparently to prove that neither the 
tolerance and the concessions of the British Government, nor 
the protests of the Vatican, would be permitted to deflect the 
party of the League in the smallest degree from the policy of 
spoliation and separation. 

The disruption of the Kepublican party, which seemed to be 
imminent when M. Gambetta's death came upon France like a 
thunderbolt, was averted by the folly of Prince Napoleon. His 
manifesto, treating the Republic as moribund and demanding 
a plSiscite, closed up the Republican ranks. The feeble 
Cabinets of M. Duclerc and M. de Falliferes were succeeded by 
that of M. Jules Ferry, who has shown plenty of force of 
character, and, in spite of many grave errors, has rallied to him 
a strong and steady majority in the Chambers. Of his policy 
at home or abroad it is impossible to speak with approval. The 
Bonapartist movement could scarcely be treated seriously, yet it 
was made an excuse for the introduction of penal measures 
directed not against Prince Napoleon and his son, but against 
the Orleans family. When the Senate refused to assent to this 
proscription, it was enforced by a Presidential decree, issued on 
the advice of Ministers, removing the Orleanist princes from 
the army. 

Having paid this tribute to Republican prejudice, and at the 
same time tranquillised those who dreaded new political tur- 
moil, M. Ferry felt himself strong enough to encounter the 
Radicals, led by M. Cl^menceau, with a declaration against the 
revision of the Constitution. In this he was so decidedly 
backed by public opinion as well as by a Parliamentary majority 
that he was able to confront firmly the Socialist agitation which 
attempted to raise its head in the spring. Louise Michel and 
other instigators of some disquieting "bread riots" in Paris 
were prosecuted and punished, and the commemoration of the 
Commune on the 18th of March was kept sternly within 
bounds. Internally the Republican position was strengthened 
further in the autumn by the Comte de Chambord's death, for 
though the Comte de Paris was formally recognised as head of 
the Royalist party, the activity of the Legitimists was quenched. 

The Ferry Ministry unfortunately conceived, at an early 
period, that they were called upon to indemnify the restless 
spirits of the country for enforced quiet at home by a policy of 
foreign adventure. It was not that M. Ferry was at all disposed 


to revive the cry for the Revanche with which M. Gambetta had 
been popularly identified, but rather that he saw further oppor- 
tunities for that " Ghauvinisme with limited liability " of which 
the subjugation of Tunis was the outcome. A controversy 
with the Hova Government in Madagascar had arisen the year 
before, and in the spring Admiral Pierre's squadron was sent 
out to re-establish " French rights " over the north-west of the " 
island. On the rejection by the Government of Queen Rana- 
volana of an ultimatum insisting on a cession of territory and a 
large indemnity, the Admiral bombarded and occupied the port 
of Tamatave. The stress of these measures was chiefly felt by 
the European residents, for the most part English merchants or 
missionaries. The Hovas at once retired into the interior, 
where the French appear to have been unable for months past 
to make any further impression upon them. The Queen died 
during these events, but her niece was quickly accepted as her 
successor, and French rumours of dissension and revolution 
among the Hovas have not hitherto proved to be well founded. 

Much indignation was excited in this country by the news of 
Admiral Pierre's high-handed conduct at Tamatave, not only 
towards the Malagasy inhabitants, but towards the British 
Consul, towards the commander of Her Majesty's ship Dryad^ 
and especially towards Mr. Shaw, an English missionary, who 
was arrested, on charges afterwards abandoned as baseless, and 
long detained in strict custody, not being even allowed to see 
his wife, on board a French ship. For this the French 
Government made an apology later on, and offered Mr. Shaw — 
who meanwhile had received the honours of a martyr at Exeter 
Hall — a pecuniary solatium. The British Government could 
scarcely refuse to accept this reparation, particularly as the 
behaviour of Admiral Pierre towards the Consul — of which Mr. 
Gladstone had spoken, upon the first reports, in strong language 
— turned out to be less objectionable than had been sup- 
posed. His treatment of Captain Johnstone, of the Dryad, who 
showed both spirit and dignity in very trying circumstances, 
was less capable of defence. But the death of the Admiral, on 
his return to France in the autumn, and the fact that he had 
been suffering throughout from a painful and enfeebling disease, 
justified the abandonment of any personal questions. 

While France was thus attempting to extend what is mis- 
called her "colonial empire" in Madagascar, she had begun 


another task of the same kind, but of still greater difficulty and 
uncertainty, in the "Far East." It is probably due to the pro- 
gress of the dispute with China that operations in Madagascar 
have languished of late. The French claims to political and 
commercial influence over the kingdom of Annam have been 
the subject of a complicated diplomatic controversy, but the 
facts out of which the collision has actually arisen are simple 
enough. The Colonial Government of Cochin-China had griev- 
ances of long standing against the Annamese respecting the 
obstacles to trade in the northern province of Tonquin, where 
the " Black Flags," semi-piratical bands, as the French alleged, 
obstinately resisted a small force despatched under Commander 

M. Ferry's Cabinet resolved to prosecute the matter warmly, 
to insist upon the reduction of Annam to a position of depend- 
ency, and to obtain the mastery in Tonquin ; but though the 
Chamber voted for the Minister's proposals, it is doubtful 
whether public opinion would have supported an adventurous 
policy — especially as China had already entered a grave protest 
— if the national pride had not been touched by the repulse of 
Riviere's expedition and the death of its brave leader. Rein- 
forcements were at once despatched under Admiral Courbet, 
and in July the French were able to resume the offensive in 
Tonquin. After some successes they were forced by the flood- 
ing of the river-banks to retire. Meantime, Admiral Courbet 
advanced on Hu^, the capital of Annam, deposing the King, the 
nephew of Tu Due, the old enemy of the French, who had suc- 
ceeded his uncle a month earlier. The anti-war party in 
Annam, encouraged by this turn of afiairs, set up a King who 
was ready to agree to all the terms exacted by Dr. Harmand, 
the French Commissioner, placing the kingdom, including 
Tonquin, directly under the protectorate of France. 

But while these military operations were going on diplomacy 
was weaving a tangled web. China had from the outset asserted 
her suzerainty over the Annamese dominions, and especially 
Tonquin. Negotiations had been opened with the Chinese 
Government by M. Bouree, M. Tricou, and M. Patenotre, but 
without result. The scene was then shifted to Europe, where 
the Marquis Tseng defended the interests of his country with a 
patience and tact which won the admiration of trained diplo- 
matists. Mediation between France and China was spoken of 


from time to time, but the pretensions of the rival Powers were 
in fact irreconcilable, and neither would go back. China 
declared throughout that she would neither recognise the Treaty 
of Hu^ nor consent to the occupation of Tonquin by France. 
The French demands were based upon an idea that China would 
yield when she found herself confronted by an inflexible policy, 
and M. Ferry, in spite of severe and just criticisms on the in- 
consistencies and unfairness of his treatment of the Chinese 
ambassador, carried the Chamber with him on what was 
nominally a vote of credit, but really one of confidence, early in 
December. The Senate showed itself still more decided, and 
the appeal of the Minister of War to the army was answered 
by a vast number of volunteers. In spite of the distinct inti- 
mation that Sontay and Bacninh, against which the French 
troops were advancing, were held by regular Chinese soldiers, 
and in spite of a dangerous movement at Hu^, where the philo- 
French King was poisoned and the " National party " regained 
the ascendency. Admiral Courbet pressed on, and after some 
sharp fighting captured Sontay on the 18th inst. 

During these Oriental adventures the position of France in 
Europe was in many ways an uneasy one. Though it was 
officially stated on both sides that there was no cause of quarrel 
with Germany, much ill-feeling, suspicion, and recrimination 
found vent in the Press, and culminated in the scandalous treat- 
ment of King Alfonso in Paris. The German complaints of 
French malignity appeared to be fully justified when the King 
of Spain was singled out for insult, because he had accepted at 
Berlin an honorary colonelcy of an Uhlan regiment. The 
Ministry showed decided coolness towards the King, but the 
insolent violence of a mob, which hooted the royal visitor on 
his arrival and on calling on President Gr^vy, forced on 
them an ungracious and lame apology. The result was that 
Spain followed the example of Italy in connecting herself with 
the Austro-German Alliance, a fact which soon after was em- 
phasised by the tour of the German Crown Prince through the 
Iberian and Italian peninsulas, taking in not only the Courts of 
King Alfonso and King Humbert, but the Vatican as well. It 
may be remarked further that France had, rightly or wrongly, 
aroused the jealousy of Portugal by her proceedings on the 
Congo and the Niger, and of Switzerland by a military demon- 
stration in Savoy. Thus the isolation of France on the Conti- 


nent was almost complete. The retirement of M. Challemel- 
Lacour from the French Foreign Ofl&ce, where he was succeeded 
by M. Ferry himself, was rendered inevitable by an impractic- 
able temper which nullified considerable abilities. During his 
tenure of office the breach with the Vatican as well as with 
Germany and her allies slowly but steadily widened, and the 
alienation of Roman Catholic feeling from the Republic was 
hardly compensated by the increased influence secured — unfairly 
as the Moderate party contended — in the removal of magistrates 
distrusted as attached to former regimes. 

The errors of the French Government have crippled the 
Republican cause in the other Latin States. In Spain, during 
the greater part of the year, the Sagasta Ministry have retained 
office by the support of a coalition, a threatening Socialist move- 
ment in the south came to nothing, military risings, supposed to 
have originated in the ambitious designs of the exiled leader, 
Senor Zorrilla, were promptly repressed, and the King's popu- 
larity was augmented beyond all expectation by the discourteous 
folly of the Parisian mob. A Ministry under Senor Herrera, 
pledged to universal suffrage, may not be able to carry out that 
hazardous policy. Meanwhile, Spanish diplomacy has not only 
effected a rapprochement with Germany, but has laid the founda- 
tion of a commercial agreement with England, advantageous, it 
may be hoped, to both parties. 

In Italy " a conformity of diplomatic action " with Germany 
and Austria was announced, the extravagances of the Irre- 
dentists has been disavowed, and a Ministerial reconstruction 
has separated Signor Depretis from his more advanced colleagues 
and drawn him into an alliance with the Constitutional poli- 
ticians of the Right. The Left would be aggressive if it dared, 
but the position of the Government has been not only strength- 
ened by the improvement in the finances and by diplomatic 
success, but by the factious schisms and quarrels of the Opposi- 
tion. There is no change to be noted in the attitude of the 
Vatican towards the Italian Monarchy, though towards other 
Powers Leo XIII. has been eminently conciliatory. 

The Pope's desire to employ the influence of the Church in 
repressing revolutionary tendencies has been proved by his 
intervention in Ireland to deter the clergy from giving active 
aid to the Land League party. Mr. Errington's functions at 
Rome remain still undefined, but through him and others the 


Pope is now kept informed of the real state of Irish affairs. 
This disposition has naturally smoothed the way for a recon- 
ciliation with Germany, on which the seal was believed — 
perhaps prematurely — to be set by the visit of the Crown 

Prince Bismarck had already taken a decisive step towards 
the resumption of friendly relations with Rome by carrying in 
the Prussian Landtag a measure repealing the famous " Falk 
Laws," and though no actual working compromise has been 
agreed on, it is plain that the Chancellor's wish is to govern 
henceforward not in spite of, but with the help of the Vatican. 
His tendency is to rely more and more in the Imperial Parlia- 
ment upon the Centres, of whom the clericals form an important 
section, against the Socialists, the Advanced Liberals, and the 
Separatist factions. The Reichstag have complied, though some- 
what sulkily, with the Emperor's urgent request to vote the 
Estimates for two years, but have thrown over more than one of 
Prince Bismarck's favourite measures. The foreign policy of 
the Government has been vigilant, but not restless. A better 
understanding with Russia has prevailed since the visits paid by 
M. de Giers, Prince GortchakofFs successor, to Berlin, Vienna, 
and Rome early in the year. 

Austria has needed all the support that Germany could give 
her, as well as relief from Russian pressure, to enable her to 
cope with grave internal troubles. Scandals showing the exist- 
ence of much political corruption. Socialist conspiracies and 
prosecutions, street riots and strikes, disquieted the Cisleithan 
kingdoms, while in Hungary the ill-feeling against the Jews, a 
source of social trouble, culminated during the trial of the 
Tisza-Esslar murder case. The charges against the Jews of 
having sacrificed a Christian girl at Passover in the previous 
year were proved to be of the flimsiest kind, depending almost 
wholly on the evidence of the son of one of the prisoners, who, 
partly by threats and partly by promises, was induced to swear 
to a monstrous story. The whole case broke down on the trial, 
but the populace throughout the country, and even in Russia, 
were furious at the escape of the Jews. A still more serious 
cause of disturbance in the Transleithan kingdom arose out of 
the hostility of the Croatians to Magyar rule. The extension 
of Hungarian authority was openly resisted, martial law had to 
be proclaimed, and riots put down by military force. The 


Ban's resignation showed the sympathy in high places with the 
Slavonic claims, and even at Pesth the necessity for concessions 
has been recognised. 

At Vienna, and, indeed, at Berlin also, the importance of 
seeking a counterpoise for Russian influence in the Balkan 
peninsula was clearly seen. Close relations have been estab- 
lished with the Servian kingdom, and King Milan's visit to 
Austria and Germany in the autumn was generally regarded as 
significant. A successful attempt to emancipate the Orthodox 
Church in Servia from Russian control had alienated Bang 
Milan and his subjects from their former protectors, and Servian 
suspicion had been whetted by the marriage of a claimant to 
the Servian throne with a daughter of the Prince of Montenegro. 
The latter State has been conspicuously patronised by Russia 
and specially favoured by the Porte, its hereditary foe, in the 
suppression of the Albanian insurrection. 

Russia was the more tempted to lean on Montenegro since 
in Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia her power was on the wane. 
In the latter province, as well as in Prince Alexander's 
dominions, the interference of the Russian officials was bitterly 
resented, but in both countries the quarrel was outwardly com- 
posed, though Bulgaria has got rid of the Russian members of 
the Cabinet. Roumania has shown jealousy of Austria and 
disappointment at her exclusion from the Danubian Conference 
held in London early in the year. The relations of the Balkan 
States might have been more seriously troubled by the efforts 
to bring about a revolution in Servia in the autumn, but after 
King Milan's display of vigour in dealing with impracticable 
factions, the energy, tempered by clemency, of his measures 
directed against an abortive rising merited and secured success. 
The foreign policy of Russia, however, was less active than in 
former years, which was greatly due to the domestic difficulties 
of the Government, and in part to the reticulated restraints of 
German diplomacy. Nihilist arrests and prosecutions were 
reported from time to time ; but social terrors were visibly 
abating. On New Year's Day it was announced that the 
long-delayed coronation of the Emperor and Empress would 
be performed at Moscow in May. A splendid national and 
international ceremonial was organised, with extraordinary pre- 
cautions against outrage, and was successfully carried through. 
The splendour of the scene was, perhaps, unequalled ; every 


important State in the civilised world, every province and town 
of the Empire of the Czars, was represented in the brilliant 
gathering *' before the sacred relics of the Kremlin," and for the 
populace there was a carnival of mediaeval magnificence and 

Though no warning signs broke the monotony of congratu- 
lations, few could forget the events that had gone before, and 
many regretted that the opportunity had not been seized for 
making advances towards constitutionalism and neutralising 
revolutionary ideas. The Scandinavian kingdoms are less con- 
nected than they once were with Eussia, and their difficulties 
are unlike hers. In Denmark a chronic struggle between the 
throne and the Parliamentary Radicals has become acute. A 
far more formidable question of the same kind has arisen in 
Norway, where the Ministers have been not only censured but 
impeached and imprisoned, and the King personally denounced. 
Sweden, however, remains loyal, tranquil, and prosperous. The 
same may be said of Holland, the wealth and progress of which 
were strikingly illustrated at the Amsterdam Exhibition. It is, 
nevertheless, remarkable that in all these countries, as well as 
in Belgium, some anxiety was . inspired by Socialist demonstra- 
tions and organisations, which, however, came to nothing. 

Apart from Egyptian affairs, the Turkish Empire has not 
come prominently before the world during the past twelve 
months. The Sultan's peculiarities of character have been an 
obstacle to progress, and no confidence is felt in the stability of 
any Ministry or policy dependent on his will. He has been 
gravely disquieted by the rumours of religious revolutions in 
the Mussulman world, and especially by the success of the 
Mahdi in the Soudan, but he is not more inclined to remove 
the grievances of his Christian subjects. The agitation in 
Armenia has not subsided, and no attempt has been made to 
carry out the long-promised reforms. We owe, however, this 
much to Turkey, that she has not attempted to complicate the 
problem in Egypt by interference as suzerain. 

The attitude of the European Powers towards the English 
occupation of Egypt was at the opening of the year one of 
acquiescence tempered by expectancy. Aj-abi and his associates 
had just been deported to Ceylon and Lord Granville had 
announced that this country would not re-establish the Dual 
Control. The Egyptian Government having swept away the 


Control, and in other respects created a tabula rasa, Lord 
Dufferin, assisted by a number of able Englishmen, proceeded 
to elaborate a scheme of administrative and social reforms, 
including the germs of a national representative system. These 
recommendations, set forth in a remarkable despatch laid before 
Parliament in the spring, were adopted without demur by the 
Khedive, and when, after a brief visit to England, the British 
ambassador returned to Constantinople, he left affairs at Cairo 
in an encouraging state. 

It was apparently agreed on all hands that though Egypt 
was to be educated for self-government, it was impossible for 
the present to dispense with British predominance or to with- 
draw the British troops. The changes in administration, in the 
judiciary and the army, as well as the development of political 
institutions, must be necessarily slow. Sir Evelyn Wood had 
undertaken the organisation of the army and Baker Pasha that 
of the gendarmerie. Sir Auckland Colvin became " Financial 
Adviser " to the Khedive, to be replaced, a few months later, by 
Mr. Vincent. Sir E. Malet, the Consul-General, retired, and 
was succeeded, with increased powers and dignity, by Sir. E. 
Baring, previously Financial Member of Council at Calcutta. 
The Bedouins who had murdered Professor Palmer and his 
companions were brought to justice in January, and somewhat 
later the authors of the Alexandria conflagrations were convicted 
and punished in spite of an outcry raised in Parliament by 
Lord Randolph Churchill. 

The withdrawal of the British troops was loudly called for 
during the autumn by some advanced Liberals in this country, 
and at the Guildhall banquet on Lord Mayor's Day the Prime 
Minister announced that their number would be largely reduced. 
But before this order could be carried out an unexpected catas- 
trophe in the Soudan enforced a reversal of policy. The re- 
conquest of the Soudan from the " Mahdi," a pretended prophet 
or reformer of Islam, who during the troubles at Cairo had 
become supreme throughout the vast and vague regions south of 
Khartoum, was attempted in March, when Colonel Hicks, a 
retired Anglo-Indian officer, was despatched as chief of the 
staff", and with the Egyptian troops achieved, a few weeks later, 
a victory over the Mahdi's forces, which, however, was not 
decisive. Hicks Pasha subsequently became Commander-in- 
Chief, and in the autumn advanced again upon the centre of 



the Mahdi's strength at Obeid. For weeks nothing was known 
of his movements, but at length the news reached Khartoum 
that the whole of the Egyptian army, with the General and the 
other European officers, had been surrounded and destroyed by 
the rebels. The consternation at Cairo was profound, for not 
long before some troops moving near Suakin, the post on the 
Red Sea through which intercourse with Khartoum was kept 
up, had suffered heavy loss, the British Consul, Captain Mon- 
crieff, having fallen among others. The remnants of Hicks 
Pasha's force were, for the most part, drawn together in Khar- 
toum by another English officer, though some outlying posts 
were left to themselves. It was doubted whether Khartoum 
could hold out, and the difficulty was increased by the folly of 
the Governor of Suakin, who sacrificed some hundreds of his 
best soldiers in a mismanaged sortie. 

The British Government, which had at once countermanded 
the withdrawal of the troops from Cairo, advised the Khedive 
not to attempt the re-conquest of the Soudan, but, having 
relieved the invested posts, to hold the Red Sea coast and the 
Nile Valley as far as Wady Haifa, to maintain the defensive. 
It was intimated that though neither British nor Indian soldiers 
would be sent out, a fleet would in case of need be ordered to 
Alexandria. The Khedive's Government, meanwhile, has de- 
spatched Baker Pasha to Suakin with a native force under 
strict orders to observe caution. The reports of the Mahdi's 
position are conflicting, but down to the present no important 
movement has been made on either side. 

These stirring events have partially diverted attention from 
the Suez Canal controversy. The action of the British ship- 
owners who protested against the exactions of the Canal Com- 
pany early in the year resulted most unexpectedly in the 
provisional agreement which Parliament and public opinion 
so emphatically disapproved, and which the Government had to 
withdraw. In the autumn negotiations were privately renewed 
between M. de Lesseps and the shipowners, the Government 
holding aloof. The President of the Canal Company visited the 
chief commercial and shipping centres — Liverpool, Manchester, 
Newcastle — and, finally, after a series of interviews in London, 
the bases of an agreement were arranged, which differed from 
that previously proposed by the Government in many important 
points. No public money was to be advanced, in lieu of the 


£8,000,000 the Government had been ready to grant ; a second 
canal cut at the cost of the Company ; this country was to be 
represented on the governing council not only by the ofl&cial 
directors, but by seven delegates of the shipowners, forming also 
a consultative body in London. At the same time, it was 
urged that the gravest objections to the Ministerial arrangement 
had not been removed. The administration of the old Canal 
was still to remain French, and that of the new one was to be 
French also. M. de Lesseps declared that during his lifetime 
and that of his son the Canal would never cease to be French. 
The claim of the Company to a monopoly was asserted as 
strongly as ever, and the demand that the shares held by the 
English Government should be given full voting power was 
rejected. On the other hand, the Egyptian Government have 
entered a protest beforehand against any alteration in the status 
of the Canal Company under the existing concession without 
the Khedive's assent. 

The Government of India was favoured by many of the 
principal conditions of prosperity and peace. The finances 
were in a healthy state, and neither war nor famine threatened 
any unusual drain. Lord Ripon, however, involved himself 
early in the year in a conflict with the non-official European 
inhabitants of unprecedented bitterness. Mr. Ilbert, the Legal 
Member of Council, introduced a Bill, which came to bear his 
name, giving native magistrates up country, in contravention of 
the compromise settled in 1872, the power to try Europeans. 
The change, which was originally recommended as a modest 
administrative reform, was afterwards extended and put forward 
as a fulfilment of the promise of "equal rights" held out to 
natives by the Queen's Proclamation. The non-official Euro- 
peans, who since the development of tea - planting, railway 
construction, and other forms of private enterprise have become 
an important element, protested against the withdrawal of their 
acknowledged right to be tried by " their peers " in deference to 
a sentimental and theoretical claim affecting only a limited 
number of native civil servants and in defiance of the pre- 
ponderant opinion of the Anglo-Indian official class. A power- 
ful organisation was established in India to oppose the Ilbert 
Bill, and was supported at home by the vast majority of retired 
Indian officials. It turned out also, in spite of maladroit 
attempts to disguise the truth, that the opinions of the officers 


consulted by the Government were by nearly four to one in 
favour of withdrawing the Bill, while of its nominal supporters 
all save a few recommended a compromise. 

Unluckily, not only European but native feelings had been 
excited. Mr. Bright and other advanced Liberals, without 
taking the pains to master the details of the measure, advocated 
it on English platforms as " Justice to India," and the spokes- 
men of the Government, both in India and at home, declared 
that it would be prosecuted unflinchingly. The opposition of 
the Europeans did not abate, and, indeed, Lord Kipon has met 
at Calcutta with more signal marks of disfavour among his own 
countrymen than any Viceroy since the extinction of the Com- 
pany. At Bristol, towards the close of the year, Lord North- 
brook announced, in terms which were generally misconstrued, 
that a compromise would be proposed. The limitations sug- 
gested were not regarded as sufficient by the Anglo-Indian 
community, and finally, when the consideration of the measure 
had been adjourned till after Christmas, an understanding was 
entered into with the opponents of the measure, by which 
Europeans objecting to be tried by a native magistrate might 
demand a jury of whom the majority should be non- native. 
This arrangement entails some administrative inconveniences 
and practical anomalies, but it protects the Europeans against 
injustice and secures the Government such credit as may be 
given to the passing of the Bill thus altered. This controversy 
has overshadowed all other topics of Indian politics during the 
year. It is important, however, to note the Bengal Eent Bill, 
introduced to give the ryots " security of tenure," and generally 
to place them in the position of Irish tenants under the Act 
of 1870. 

Among the Colonial dominions of the Crown, those in South 
Africa are still the cause of the greatest anxiety. The Cape 
Colony, after some experience of the difficulties of an ambitious 
policy, has prevailed on the Imperial Government to resume 
the administration of Basutoland. Natal has been disquieted 
by the results of Cetywayo's restoration in Zululand. Against 
this measure the Zulus rose under Usibepu, defeating and 
driving out their former King, who took refuge with the British 
Resident in the " Reserve." The future of the Zulus is wrapt 
in doubt, and the position of the Natal colonists is in the mean- 
time an anxious one. The situation is not more assured in the 


Transvaal, where the Boers are in conflict with the Bechuanas 
on the west and the Swazis on the east. The native difl&culty 
is probably at the root of the active measures which the Boers 
are now taking to procure the revision, or rather the abrogation, 
of the Convention of Pretoria. The attempts of the Transvaal 
Boers to get the mastery over the Bechuanas and to secure not 
only the lands of the native tribes but the control of the trade 
routes from the Cape to the interior were warmly discussed in 
Parliament when the revision of the Convention was mooted. 
It was at first thought advisable to send out a Commission from 
this country, and Lord Reay, a Dutchman by birth, was 
selected ; but the Boers preferred to send their delegates here, 
and in the autumn President Kruger, with two others, laid the 
demands of the Government at Pretoria before the Colonial 
OflBce. It is understood that the Boers demand the restoration 
of their complete independence, as secured by the Sand River 
Conventions ; but Lord Derby's answer has not yet been made 

In the Australasian Colonies we have to record the vigorous 
movement of active and intelligent communities. Victoria, 
which claims the undisputed hegemony of these youthful States, 
was happily freed at the opening of the year from chronic 
political troubles by the defeat of the O'Loghlen Ministry, and 
an "administrative" coalition between the Constitutionalists 
under Mr. Service and the Radicals under Mr. Berry. It was 
acknowledged that the old political issues were worn out, and 
that a larger policy would be welcomed on all hands. A similar 
spirit was found to prevail in the neighbouring Colonies, and 
Lord Normanby's reference to Australian Federation, in his 
speech to the Parliament at Melbourne in July, met with a 
hearty response. Queensland had already set the match to the 
train by the unauthorised annexation of a part of the coasts of 
New Guinea. 

Colonial opinion had been much excited by rumours that 
France and Germany were about to assert claims to the sove- 
reignty of New Guinea, the New Hebrides, and other islands 
not far distant from Australia, and in April the Queensland 
Government, as a measure of precaution, sent an officer to Port 
Moresby to declare New Guinea a part of the dominions of the 
Queen. The act was disavowed by the Colonial officials, but in 
reply to arguments strongly urged on him by delegates from all 


the Colonies, Lord Derby pointed to confederation as a possible 
solution, especially with respect to New Guinea. The Colonies 
took him, rather unexpectedly, at his word. The germ of a 
federal convention had been already developed in negotiations 
for an intercolonial postal system, and public sentiment in all 
the Colonies was fully prepared to take a more decided step. A 
conference of the Governments of all the Australasian Colonies 
was convoked at Sydney, and adopted a series of resolutions of 
the highest importance, not only calling upon the mother 
country to annex New Guinea and the New Hebrides, but to 
forbid any further extensions of non- English power in the 
Pacific south of the Equator. At the same time the outlines of 
a loose system of federal organisation were sketched and sub- 
mitted to the Imperial Government. 

No such large questions have been raised in the Canadian 
Dominion, where the chief incident in the history of this year 
was the retirement of the Governor-General, the Marquis of 
Lome, and the nomination of the Marquis of Lansdowne as 
his successor. The latter, a well-known Irish landlord, was 
violently denounced by some of the American -Irish agitators, 
but there was no response to their brutal appeals in Canada. 

Politics in the United States have been unusually torpid, 
though there has lately been a revival of life as the Presidential 
contest of 1884 draws near. The tariff has been the principal 
topic before the country. Just at the close of the last session 
of Congress in March the Republican majority, knowing that 
the Democrats, who had won at the previous " Fall " elections, 
would command the next Congress, strained every nerve to 
carry a " revised " tariff, which, with some ostensible concessions, 
would really secure the protective system. The Democrats 
might have acquiesced in this arrangement if they had not 
suffered so much at the recent elections, when General Butler, 
among others, was so badly beaten in Massachusetts that they saw 
need for a new cry. In the choice of the Speaker of the House 
of Representatives the Democratic majority threw over Mr. 
Randall and the Pennsylvania Protectionists, and declared for 
tariff reform. On that issue it seems probable the next Presi- 
dential contest will be fought out. The foreign relations of 
the Union have been equally devoid of interest. The Irish- 
Americans, irritated by the punishment inflicted on their allies 
at home, have been unusually virulent, and the pressure of the 


Irish vote has compelled President Arthur's Government to 
protest against the alleged " pauper emigration " from Con- 
naught. The desire to mediate between Chili and Peru has 
once more been frustrated by the obstinate animosities of the 
combatants. The proposed pacification arranged between the 
Chilian Government and General Iglesias is still repudiated by 
a faction among the Peruvians. 

The obituary of the year, though the list is of the average 
length, does not include, at home at all events, many names of 
the highest importance. Among English public men who have 
passed away may be mentioned the Duke of Marlborough, who 
was best known as Viceroy of Ireland under Lord Beaconsfield ; 
Lord Overstone, the ablest and most influential of English 
capitalists and the highest authority for many years on financial 
questions ; Sir George Jessel, Master of the Rolls, by universal 
admission the greatest judge who in modern times has sat upon 
the Bench in this country ; Mr. Law, Lord Chancellor of Ire- 
land, who had a large share in the authorship and conduct 
through Parliament of the Land Act ; Dr. Colenso, Bishop of 
Natal, who will be remembered not more for his once famous 
book on the Pentateuch and the conflicts in which it involved 
the Church than for his warm-hearted, if somewhat wrong- 
headed championship of the native races of South Africa ; two 
ex -judges of distinguished merit. Sir Richard Amphlett and 
Sir Charles Hall ; and General Sir "VV. F. Williams, whose 
defence of Kars will live in history. 

Science has lost Mr. Spottiswoode, the President of the 
Royal Society ; Sir Edward Sabine, one of his predecessors; Sir 
William Siemens, the eminent electrician ; and Professor Henry 
Smith, of Oxford, a profound mathematician, but also a man of 
the most brilliant social gifts and the most varied intellectual 
culture. English literature has suffered severely by the early 
death of Mr. J. R. Green, the historian. 

Among other deaths may be mentioned those of Dr. William 
Chambers, of Edinburgh, the head of the well-known publish- 
ing firm, who had received the off"er of a baronetcy almost on 
his dying bed ; Dr. Moffat, Livingstone's father - in - law and 
friend, the patriarch of South African missionaries ; Prince 
Batthyany, a distinguished patron of the Turf, who was 
suddenly struck down on the racecourse at Newmarket; Lord 
Justice Deasy of the Irish Appeal Court ; Colonel Taylor, 


M.P., for many years the " Whip " of the Conservative party 
in the House of Commons ; Sir William Knollys, Gentleman 
Usher of the Black Kod ; Richard Doyle, an artist whose work, 
abounding in fancy and in humour, was scarcely appreciated by 
his contemporaries ; Dr. Begg, one of the leaders of the Free 
Kirk of Scotland ; Captain Mayne Reid, a favourite author with 
two generations of schoolboys ; Captain Webb, the champion 
swimmer, who was drowned in a mad attempt to cross the 
rapids below Niagara ; and Mr. John Brown, the faithful 
servant of the Royal Family. 

France has lost several men of mark. M. Gambetta's death 
a few minutes before the close of the year 1882 completely 
transformed the political situation ; but perhaps even a more 
important change was produced in the political world by the 
death, some months later, of the Comte de Chambord. General 
Chanzy survived his party chief, M. Gambetta, only a few days. 
M. Henri Martin, an advanced Republican, but a historian dis- 
tinguished for strength and sanity, was also lost to the Republic. 
M. Louis Veuillot, the most powerful and uncompromising of 
Clerical and Legitimist journalists, did not live to see the claims 
of the House of Bourbon merged in those of the House of 
Orleans. M. Lenormant's death has left a gap in the ranks of 
Oriental scholars. In art, M. Gustave Dor6 ; and in letters, M. 
Laboulaye, M. HaMvy, and M. Jules Sandeau; in science, M. 
Plateau ; and in society, the Comte de Lagrange, have left 
places vacant which it will not be easy to fill. 

Germany has mourned for Richard Wagner, whose genius as 
a composer none will now deny, even though his claims to have 
called into existence the " music of the future " may be ques- 
tioned ; for Flotow, a popular musician, but of far lower calibre ; 
and for the veteran scholar Dindorf. Karl Marx, who may 
be called the founder of modern Socialism, has also passed 

Russia has lost not only Prince GortchakofF, so long the im- 
personation of Muscovite foreign policy, but, at a much earlier 
age, Ivan TurgueniefF, the most powerful imaginative writer 
whom Slavonic literature can boast. 

The death of another novelist, Henri Conscience, who had 
achieved more than local distinction, has deprived the struggling 
language and literature of Flanders of one of its few celebrated 


Italy and the whole musical world had to lament the death 
of the most famous of tenors, Mario. 

In India, the loss of Sir Salar Jung, perhaps the ablest of 
Mussulman statesmen, has been deplored alike by natives and 
by Anglo-Indians. In Japan, Iwakura, an earnest advocate of 
progress and well known in Europe as a diplomatist, was pre- 
maturely cut otL 


The year 1884 has been crowded with events, at home and 
abroad, which will fix upon its annals the attention of the future 
student of history. Domestic politics have passed through the 
crucible of agitation, and it would be rash to predict that their 
ruling tendencies will remain the same as heretofore when the 
results of the process become clearly visible. A vast addition 
has been sanctioned to the number of enfranchised citizens of 
the United Kingdom, a far-reaching redistribution of political 
power has been projected, a long stride has been taken — hope- 
fully, it is true, and almost without a dissentient voice — in the 
direction of pure democratic government At the same time 
every part of the fabric of the Empire has passed through the 
ordeal either of anxious experience or of exciting criticism. 

In spite of the conventional language of confidence employed 
in royal speeches and ofl&cial statements, clear-sighted men 
cannot refuse to see that our relations with the Great Powers of 
the Continent are not marked, to say the least, by an excess of 
cordiality, while we are brought into contact with those Powers 
upon controversial issues of policy all over the world. The 
revival of " the League of the Three Emperors," the rapproche- 
ment between France and Germany, the activity of the former 
Power in the far East and of the latter on the West Coast of 
Africa, the attitude of Europe towards the English occupation 
of Egypt, remind us that the functions of diplomacy as a branch 
of statesmanship have not ceased to exist. In these critical times 
it is not pleasant to learn that the navy, our first line of 
national defence, no longer secures for this country an indis- 
putable supremacy on the seas, and that the deficiency cannot be 
made good without a large expenditure. 


The public credit has been well maintained, though the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer's scheme for the conversion of the 
Three per Cents has not been particularly successful. But 
trade has been torpid, and in some branches suffering ; agricul- 
ture remains still depressed, in spite of a genial winter, a sunny- 
summer and autumn, and a moderately abundant harvest, 
countervailed, however, by low prices ; and the elasticity of the 
revenue cannot be counted upon without risk. 

In other departments of policy the causes of anxiety are less 
definite and measurable. The peace is preserved in Ireland 
under Lord Spencer's rule, but the violent language of the 
"popular party" on the platform and in the Press keeps alive 
the anti-English passion among the masses and perpetuates a 
state of feeling which, as we are warned from time to time, waits 
only for an opportunity to show its quality in outrage and 
treason. India, on the whole, is tranquil and prosperous, 
though the movements of Russia on the Afghan frontier have 
again begun to breed alarm, and attention has been seriously 
directed to the dangers involved in the maintenance of the 
armies of the native States. Colonial policy has its encouraging 
and its discouraging aspects. The political energy shown by the 
Australians in promoting measures of intercolonial union, and 
in asserting the rights of British colonists in the Southern Seas, 
must command admiration and sympathy in the mother country ; 
but if misdirected it might easily prove a peril rather than a 
security to the Empire. The difl&culties in South Africa and 
the financial embarrassments of the West Indies, which have led 
to an abortive scheme for a commercial union of the latter with 
Canada, have contributed to give prominence to colonial ques- 
tions, and for the first time English public men have been 
induced to take gravely into consideration the problem how to 
embrace in some form of federal system the widely-scattered 
dominions of the Crown. 

With all these preoccupations of policy, our statesmen have 
not been free from the cares of war. The operations in the 
Eastern Soudan under Sir Gerald Graham, the expedition to 
Bechuanaland under Sir Charles Warren, and, above all. Lord 
Wolseley's campaign for the relief of Khartoum, have subjected 
our military organisation to a severe strain, but hitherto with 
no unsatisfactory results. In Europe the new system of alliances, 
or rather of political intimacies, is, for the present at least, a 


guarantee of peace. France, Germany, and Russia have ostenta- 
tiously put aside their former jealousies and are busying them- 
selves conspicuously with external and independent objects. If 
it had not been for the alarm produced by the outbreak of the 
cholera, the Continent might look back on the year that is closing 
to-day with contentment, in spite of the sinister activity of 
" Anarchism " under various forms, the violence of Radicals and 
Clericals as displayed, in defiance even of the most liberal 
Constitutional system, in Belgium, the advance of the Socialists 
in Germany to a place among recognised political parties, the 
distress and discontent of the working classes in France, and 
the evils, as yet imperfectly comprehended, of a restless policy 
pursuing the objects of a vague ambition without reference to 
their lasting value. 

No change of importance is to be recorded in the composition 
of the Ministry. Not only does Mr. Gladstone remain Prime 
Minister, but his personal ascendency in English politics has 
been established more indisputably than ever. During the two 
sessions of Parliament he bore the brunt of the oratorical battle 
on every great occasion, and in his expedition to Scotland in the 
autumn he showed as decisively his undiminished power as a 
popular speaker. His predominance has rather overshadowed 
his colleagues. Mr. Chamberlain has, perhaps, been made an 
exception by the persistence with which the Opposition have 
denounced him and the boldness with which he has faced every 
attack. Mr. Dodson's retirement from the Cabinet on his 
elevation to the peerage offered an opportunity for the promotion 
of Mr. Trevelyan, who became Chancellor of the Duchy, and was 
succeeded as Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant by Mr. 
Campbell-Bannerman. The place of the latter as Secretary of 
the Admiralty was filled by Sir Thomas Brassey, and the vacant 
Civil Lordship was bestowed on Mr. Caine. The lamented death 
of Mr. Fawcett and the resignation of Mr. Courtney opened a 
new series of official migrations. Mr. Shaw-Lefevre became 
Postmaster-General, and Mr. Hibbert Secretary to the Treasury, 
while Mr. Henry Fowler entered the Government as Under- 
Secretary for the Home Department. 

The autumnal campaign settled the question of the leadership 
of the Opposition. Lord Salisbury's mastery of rhetoric and the 
clearness of vision with which he pursued his aims, right or 
wrong, confirmed his authority over the whole of the Conserva- 


tive party, and whatever may be thought of the compromise in 
which he was the principal actor on his side, his followers are 
ready to believe that he has secured for them more advantages 
than could have been gained by either a more cautious or a more 
reckless champion. It remains to be shown how far Lord 
Salisbury's personal character has impressed itself, favourably or 
otherwise, on the electors. As a platform orator he is believed 
to be less attractive than Lord Randolph Churchill, whose faith 
in " Tory democracy " does not deter him from consistently 
applying the doctrine "Who peppers the highest is surest to 
please," and whose influence over the popular element on the 
Conservative side was demonstrated by his triumph in the 
struggle for the control of the representative organisation of his 
party early in the year. 

The attitude of the opposing parties in the State before the 
meeting of Parliament foreshadowed the final result. The Con- 
servatives, as a party, did not contest the principle of the 
equalisation of the franchise, but took exception to the inclusion 
of Ireland and the postponement to another session of the redis- 
tribution of seats. The Liberals defended these features in the 
policy on which, after some hesitation, they had found themselves 
able to unite. When the Franchise Bill was brought in the 
questions at issue were left in the first instance to be settled by 
Parliamentary methods. Liberal meetings generally gave a 
thorough-going support to their party chiefs, and Conservative 
meetings applauded in like manner the resistance of Lord 
Salisbury. There was for many months little sign of excitement 
in the country, but the opinion that somehow or other the 
question must be settled, and that great national interests must 
not be postponed from year to year for the sake of changes in 
political machinery and the calculations of party involved 
therein, was silently becoming a predominant influence. When 
the House of Lords adopted Lord Cairns's amendment to the 
second reading of the Franchise Bill, the prospect of a prolonged 
crisis, and of an agitation threatening many other things besides 
Lord Salisbury's supremacy, produced alarm and irritation, and 
the action of the Peers would have been probably condemned by 
a majority of the nation if on that issue alone an appeal to the 
constituencies had been possible just before the close of the 

The question, however, to be submitted to the popular judg- 


ment was not of this simple character, and when the two parties 
were fairly engaged in a competition of demonstrations it was 
difl&cult to arrive at a clear conclusion. The great Reform 
procession which passed through the streets of London on 21st 
July was rivalled, and even in some cases surpassed, by an 
immense number of similar gatherings on the same side through- 
out England and Scotland, but on the other hand the Conserva- 
tive demonstrations in supporting the House of Lords, though 
less frequent, were in one or two instances almost as imposing. 
Each party taunted the other with relying upon " political 
picnics," and the description was not an unfair one of many 
meetings, especially those held in the parks of Conservative 

Mr. Gladstone's visit to his constituents in Midlothian soon 
after the prorogation elicited the greatest enthusiasm throughout 
Scotland, but the Scotch did not need to be converted. The 
Opposition, if they were not successful in showing that the 
nation was on their side, produced evidence enough of a division 
of popular opinion on those points of procedure as to which 
alone, after the transactions with which the earlier session closed, 
there was any room for controversy. For it was noted that the 
House of Lords, while postponing the second reading of the 
Franchise Bill in July, had formally and unanimously recorded 
its acceptance, on Lord Dunraven's motion, of " the principles 
of representation contained in the Bill ; " and that the Peers, a 
few days later, had given adhesion to Lord Cadogan's amendment 
suggesting the reintroduction and passing of the Franchise Bill 
in the Commons in the proposed autumn session and the pro- 
duction of the Redistribution Bill concurrently with the trans- 
mission of the other measure to the Upper House. 

The Liberal party had thus induced their opponents to move 
a long way in the direction of immediate enfranchisement, and 
during the autumn campaign it was apparent that this practical 
approximation would render it difficult for the Government to 
resort to extremities were the Conservative Peers to insert a 
suspensory amendment and to insist again upon knowing what 
was to be the new distribution of political power. The Consti- 
tutional position of the House of Lords had been assailed by the 
advanced wing of the Liberals with more vehemence and deter- 
mination than at any time during the last fifty years. But 
from a direct attack upon the Second Chamber, though a dis- 



position to consider seriously schemes for its reform had been 
growing since Lord Rosebery's motion, the Prime Minister and 
his chief colleagues, as well as the bulk of their moderate 
followers, recoiled. 

In these circumstances, when Parliament reassembled for the 
autumn session on 23rd October, though high and defiant language 
was still used on both sides, events and the desires of reasonable 
men were working towards a compromise. The debates on the 
Speech from the throne were prolonged, mainly by the Parnel- 
lite members, but a safety-valve was found for the party spirit 
which had been gathering in Lord Randolph Churchill's motion 
accusing Mr. Chamberlain of having incited the masses to attack 
and break up Tory meetings, and especially a Conservative 
demonstration at Aston Park, near Birmingham. Mr. Chamber- 
lain, in his reply, defended his language on general grounds, but 
relied largely, in dealing with the Aston case, on afl&davits 
showing designed provocation on the part of "Tory roughs." 
These statements were afterwards made the ground of legal 
proceedings both by Conservatives and Liberals at Birmingham, 
but with no decisive result, except that only one of the men 
who had sworn the afl&davits was forthcoming at the trial. 

This skirmishing in the debates on the Address gave time for 
informal negotiations, which soon after bore fruit. At first, 
however, it seemed that nothing could be done to bridge over 
the chasm, albeit a narrow one, which separated the Ministerial 
position, as defined in Lord Granville's proposals in July, from 
that of the Conservatives, as stated in Lord Cadogan's amend- 
ment. The simplicity of the task was too manifest to escape 
public notice, and leading personages on both sides began to fear 
that if the country were flung into a new crisis by their obstinacy 
they would suffer in character and influence. The rapid pro- 
gress of the Bill through the House of Commons, where the 
second reading was carried, with the somewhat unexpected aid 
of the Parnellites, by a majority of 140, enforced an immediate 
decision. The main lines of the Government plan with respect 
to Redistribution were tolerably well known from Mr. Gladstone's 
speeches and other Ministerial disclosures, and it was only 
necessary to compare with this scheme the views entertained by 
the leaders of the Opposition. Moderate men felt rightly con- 
fident that by such a comparison a sound working compromise 
would be easily discovered. 


When communications were opened between the two parties 
it was found that the Conservatives were prepared to go even 
further than the Government in disfranchising unimportant 
places, and were not desirous of insisting upon any unpopular or 
impracticable method of securing the representation of minorities. 
For a moment the decisive victory won by Mr. Sampson Lloyd 
in South Warwickshire moved the High Tories of the counties 
to revolt ; Mr. Lowtber was permitted to disavow the conciliatory 
language of Sir Richard Cross, but unwise counsels did not long 
prevail. It was agreed that the draft Redistribution Bill should 
be submitted to the Conservative leaders and amended to meet 
their views, that on their acceptance of this measure they were 
to give the Government "adequate assurance" of their intention 
to carry the Franchise Bill through the House of Lords, that 
thereupon the Government should introduce the Redistribution 
Bill in the Lower House and carry it to the second reading, while 
the Opposition should at the same time redeem their pledge by 
allowing the Franchise Bill to become law. In this agreement 
the Government were content to trust for the " adequate assur- 
ance " demanded to the honour of English gentlemen, and in the 
same spirit the Conservative chiefs accepted the Ministerial 
promise that the Redistribution Bill would be pushed on as 
early as possible after the adjournment for Christmas, and that 
in the Lower House, where the Liberals command a majority, 
its passing would be considered a vital question by the Cabinet. 
This exchange of honourable engagements was amply sufficient. 
Lord Salisbury and Sir StaflFord Northcote had a series of inter- 
views with a special committee of the Cabinet, consisting of the 
Prime Minister, Lord Hartington, and Sir Charles Dilke, and 
the Redistribution Bill as settled between these " high contracting 
powers" was brought in by Mr. Gladstone on 1st December. The 
second reading was taken three days later and carried without a 
division, and the House of Lords at the same time passed the 
Franchise Bill through its remaining stages. Parliament 
adjourned on 6th December to 19th February, when the Redistri- 
bution Bill will be thoroughly discussed on the motion for going 
into Committee, and proceeded with de die in diem. 

The details of this measure attracted more attention than the 
Franchise Bill itself, which was quietly placed upon the Statute- 
book, and which, from the beginning of the new year, bestows 
the right to vote upon all rated householders, whether in counties 



or boroughs, adding, it is estimated, some 2,000,000 of voters 
to tlie electoral rolls. Redistribution touches not the new voters 
so much as the old constituencies. The scheme now before 
Parliament, to which the leading men of both parties are 
pledged, evades some difficulties, and does not, perhaps, choose 
the best way out of others. Ireland and Wales retain their 
excess of representation, and the claims of Scotland are partially 
satisfied by an addition to the House, raising its numbers to 670. 
Boroughs with less than 15,000 inhabitants are to be merged in 
the surrounding county districts ; those with less than 50,000 
inhabitants are to have only one member each ; those between 
50,000 and 165,000 are to retain two members each. All urban 
constituencies with more than 165,000 inhabitants and all 
counties without exception are to be divided into districts 
represented each by a single member. 

This system was intended to secure, through the medium of 
the instructions given, with the sanction of Parliament, to an 
independent body of Boundary Commissioners, the substantial 
representation of minorities, or rather of various interests, by 
separating the rural from the urban voters. The advocates of 
proportional representation were hostile to this scheme, which 
was also opposed by some of the large cities on the ground that 
it would destroy their corporate unity. Mr. Courtney gave 
point to his dissent by resigning his office as Secretary of the 
Treasury and by stating that Mr. Fawcett, if he had lived, would 
have taken the same course. Some Conservatives were found 
to support these views, but by far the greater number agreed 
that Lord Salisbury and Sir Stafford Northcote had acted wisely 
in securing the single-member system, since scrUtin de liste would 
be manifestly unjust and ruinous, and there was no chance of 
bringing into operation either Sir John Lubbock's plan of trans- 
ferable voting, or the restrictive vote or cumulative vote already 
tried in " three-cornered " constituencies and at School Board 
elections. Moreover, there was, and is, a strong and a growing 
feeling that the honour of the leading statesmen on both sides 
was involved in the maintenance of the compromise, and that no 
improvement in electoral machinery could be a compensation 
either for a breach of faith discreditable to one or both parties, 
or for the withdrawal from political life of the ablest public men 
in the country. 

The question of Parliamentary reform had almost a monopoly 



of political interest — in the region, at least, of domestic affairs 
— during the year. The rest of the legislation promoted or 
projected by Ministers was viewed almost with indifference. 
Whatever hopes were founded on the Home Secretary's plan for 
the reconstruction of London government, and of Mr. Chamber- 
lain's measure for the prevention of loss of life at sea, dis- 
appeared as soon as it became evident that the discussion could 
lead to no immediate result. The London Municipality Bill, 
it is plain, must now be relegated, with the whole group of 
problems connected with local government of which it forms a 
part, to the next reformed Parliament. The same tribunal must 
deal with the matters in controversy between the President of 
the Board of Trade and the shipping interest. A preliminary 
inquiry has been entrusted to a Royal Commission, the com- 
position of which involved Mr. Chamberlain once more in a con- 
flict with the shipowners, and was finally arranged by extensive 
concessions on the official side. The general belief is that Mr. 
Chamberlain had a strong case upon the facts, but that it was 
not wisely handled, and that the opposition of the shipowners 
had been stirred up as much by personal feelings unnecessarily 
provoked as by difficulties on points of principle. The com- 
plaints of the farmers at the spread of foot-and-mouth disease 
have been satisfied by the Act strengthening the powers of the 
Privy Council which was passed in May last, of which the most 
stringent provisions were forced on Mr. Dodson by a combination 
of county members. Whig and Tory. 

Mr. Childers, though by no fault of his own, has missed the 
chance of achieving any financial triumphs. His budget barely 
showed an estimated surplus of a quarter of a million, without 
taking into account supplementary estimates, which of late years 
have generally upset the earlier calculations of the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer. The additional demands, which it was impos- 
sible to ignore, during the autumn session for the expeditions 
under Lord Wolseley and Sir Charles Warren were met, though 
in part only, by raising the income-tax from 5d. to 6d. in the 
pound for the year, so that, in the most favourable circumstances, 
a balance on the wrong side must be carried over to next year's 
account. The continued depression both in manufacturing 
industries and in agriculture makes it a difficult matter to in- 
crease the revenue without adding to the burdens of those already 
overtaxed. Yet, even if the work undertaken on the Nile and 


in South Africa should be happily and economically concluded, 
the next budget will have to make provision for increased army 
and navy estimates. 

Public attention has been directed to the defenceless condition 
of the coaling stations, which touches the efficiency of our 
existing system of imperial defence, to the slow progress made 
with the heavy ordnance required for ships of war and forts, 
and, above all, to the relative inferiority into which the naval 
forces of the country had been allowed to lapse. Lord North- 
brook had in the month of July declared his entire satisfaction 
with the state of his department, and had even insisted that the 
Admiralty would find some difficulty in spending three or four 
millions, if voted by Parliament But on his return from Egj^t, 
soon after the opening of the autumn session, he discovered that 
public opinion had been aroused, and that the facts disclosed in 
speeches and letters, not only by independent persons like Sir 
Edward Keed, but by officials like Sir Thomas Brassey, were 
being debated with much warmth. 

It was accordingly at once announced that something would 
be done, and before the Parliamentary adjournment the First 
Lord and the Secretary to the Admiralty made statements in 
both Houses purporting to show that large additions to the iron- 
clad fleet, to the swift cruisers, and to the torpedo defences 
would be undertaken, involving an expenditure of more than 
£3,000,000, besides additional grants for ordnance and coaling 
stations, raising the total of extraordinary estimates to about 
£6,500,000. This outlay was, however, to be distributed over 
five years, and to be shared between the War Office and the 
Admiralty. Looking at the dealings of the Treasury with the 
report of the Royal Commission on coaling stations and colonial 
defences, the expenditure on which, after years of delay, had 
been cut down, by ingenious postponements and audacious 
reductions, to an almost nominal sum, the country is justified in 
refusing to accept as sufficient Lord Northbrook's amended policy, 
falling short as it does of what Sir Edward Reed has declared to 
be the absolute minimum of our urgent requirements, and con- 
templating a rate of progress so deliberate as to leave a doubt 
whether anything more would be accomplished within the five 
years than the Admiralty was already pledged to perform accord- 
ing to the most modern reckonings. 

The government of Ireland during the year was carried on 


under peculiar difficulties, and witli moderate success. The 
Separatist party, recovering from the shock of the conspiracy- 
disclosures of the previous year, assailed the Executive in Dublin 
from behind the intrenchments of Parliamentary privilege with 
increasing audacity. Lord Spencer's conduct in failing to provide 
sufficient protection for the "right of public meeting," as 
exhibited in the Nationalist " invasion of Ulster," and in paying 
too much attention to the complaints of the Orangemen, was 
denounced ; while the authorities on this side of the Channel 
were condemned by the same voices for allowing the procession 
at Cleator Moor under conditions closely resembling those which 
prevailed in the north of Ireland. The Irish Protestants, on 
their part, were wroth with the Government for permitting Mr. 
Healy and Mr. O'Brien to preach treason among them, and the 
effort to keep the ship of State on an " even keel " had to be 
content with the usual reward of virtue. 

Meanwhile the operation of the Crimes Act, which must be 
renewed next year, was vehemently attacked, and a new system 
of tactics was brought into play with the object of discrediting 
the convictions obtained in the prosecutions under that statute. 
Evidence, or what purported to be such, was produced impeaching 
the testimony of approvers relied on by the Crown, in some cases 
supported by the admission of the informers themselves. The 
good faith of these recantations was obviously most questionable, 
but when Lord Spencer refused to act upon them and to reverse 
the decisions of the Courts of Law he was held up to infamy in 
the Nationalist Press and in Parliament as having compassed the 
death of innocent men by subornation of perjury and suppression 
of evidence. With these charges were mixed up others of a still 
more abominable kind, founded upon the fact that one or two 
officials were being prosecuted for gross offences against morality, 
and on the untruthful suggestion that the Lord-Lieutenant and 
his Chief Secretary had striven to shield them. The scandalous 
language employed with impunity in the principal organ of the 
Nationalists, under the editorship of Mr. O'Brien, was not 
checked by a verdict for damages obtained by Mr. Bolton, one 
of the Crown solicitors, which was covered by a popular sub- 
scription on Mr. O'Brien's behalf. 

The campaign was renewed with augmented vigour when it 
was found that Mr. Trevelyan's promotion to the Cabinet did 
not imply a surrender to those who were clamouring for his 


disgrace, aud that Lord Spencer, who, it was known, regarded 
the Crimes Act as indispensable to the maintenance of order, 
was to remain supreme in Dublin Castle. The debates during 
the autumn session on the Maamtrasna case and other prosecu- 
tions brought to light some doubtful points of procedure, but 
showed no ground for crediting the informers' recantations or 
reversing the decision of the Irish Executive. Irish lawlessness 
has been more active outside of Ireland than within the juris- 
diction of the Crimes Act, though the partially successful attempt 
to blow up Mr. Hussey's house near Tralee may warn optimists 
that the dangerous spirit has not been stamped out. 

The "party of dynamite" have been more daring and 
persistent in their attempts in this country. Happily their 
skill has not been equal to their malignity. Three times within 
the past twelve months has the destruction of life and property 
in London been attempted through the agency of dynamite — in 
February, when an explosion occurred at Victoria Station, and 
preparations for a similar crime were discovered at Paddington, 
Charing Cross, and Ludgate Hill ; in May, when simultaneous 
explosions took place in St. James's Square and at Scotland Yard ; 
and during the present month, when an attempt was made to 
blow up London Bridge. For complicity in the importation of 
explosives with criminal intent, two Irishmen residing in the 
Midlands were brought to justice, but the authorship of the 
greater number of these crimes remains up to the present 
undetected and unpunished. 

The contagion of Irish lawlessness has made itself felt among 
the Celtic population on the west coast of Scotland. The Keport 
of the Koyal Commission on the state of the crofters has not 
been followed up by legislation, and the peasantry in the island 
of Skye, under the pressure, no doubt, of painful distress, 
threatened not only resistance to legal claims, but violence 
against obnoxious individuals. They have, however, not gone 
beyond menaces, and have declined at the last moment to engage, 
after the fatal Irish example, in conflict with the law. The 
Government have upheld lawful authority even to the extent of 
ordering the use of troops if required, though the language of 
the Home Secretary in the House of Commons has not always 
been as prudent and firm as his oflBicial action. 

In other parts of the kingdom the wild doctrines preached 
by Mr. Henry George have met with little acceptance, and even 


in Ireland Mr. Davitt's apostolate of land nationalisation has 
called forth no warm response. Almost as fruitless hitherto 
have been the labours of the " fair trade " agitators, notwith- 
standing the indirect encouragement they have received from 
some Conservative statesmen, and the favourable conditions for 
their propaganda supplied by the continued depression of agri- 
culture and the paralysis of some of our chief manufacturing 
industries. The denunciation of the sugar bounties given by 
foreign Governments and the demand for the imposition of 
countervailing duties have not been stayed by the arguments, 
conclusive as they appear on economical grounds, of the officials 
of the Board of Trade. 

At the beginning, as at the close of the year, Egypt was the 
centre of the gravest political preoccupations. The policy of 
the Government was kept throughout in concealment, or at the 
best in a perplexing half-light, and there was no time at which 
some pretext for postponing the public judgment was not 
plausibly available. The dismissal of Sherif Pasha's Ministry 
at the instance, or rather under the orders, of England, for 
refusing to carry out the complete evacuation of the Soudan, was 
followed by Nubar Pasha's restoration to power and the osten- 
sible strengthening of the English element in the Egyptian 
Administration. For three or four months reforms made, 
according to Ministerial accounts, very satisfactory progress, in 
spite of underground intrigues and official bickerings. The 
support of Sir Evelyn Baring was cordially given to General 
Wood, Colonel Scott Moncrieff, and Mr. Clifford Lloyd, acting 
nominally under the Egyptian Ministers, but really representing 
English influence. Nubar Pasha, however, by a threat of 
resignation at a moment when the financial difficulty was 
becoming serious, succeeded in getting rid of Mr. Clifford Lloyd 
and in restoring the authority of the "native element" in the 

Meanwhile, this country had become more than ever involved 
in the affairs of Egypt. General Gordon had been hastily de- 
spatched to Khartoum in January to arrange for the withdrawal 
of the Egyptian garrisons and the establishment of some local 
government, but it was ostentatiously announced that he would 
not receive any military support. He was warmly welcomed by 
the people, and his personal influence put some heart into the 
Egyptian soldiery. The Mahdi, however, refused to accept any 


terms short of an unconditional surrender, and General Gordon 
was forced back on a plan for employing the slave-hunter Zebehr 
to assume the command at Khartoum after his departure. To 
this the Government at home could not assent, but neither would 
they strengthen General Gordon's hands so as to allow him to 
act for himself. The appearance of hesitation and the rumours 
of withdrawal encouraged the enemy. Khartoum was threatened 
by hosts of the Mahdi's followers, and though they were repeat- 
edly routed and repulsed by General Gordon, in spite of the 
treachery of some of his native officers and the cowardice of their 
troops, the city was slowly but surely cut off from communica- 
tion with Lower Egypt and the outer world. Before the invest- 
ment was completed indignant despatches from General Gordon, 
charging upon the Government the " indelible disgrace " of the 
abandonment, not of himself, but of the garrisons and the loyal 
people of Khartoum, were published in England, and aroused 
feelings which were inadequately represented by the wavering 
and inconclusive debates on the subject. 

Still greater interest was awakened by the telegrams published 
in these columns from our correspondent, Mr. Power, who had 
remained in Khartoum with the remnant of Hicks Pasha's army, 
and was, beside General Gordon and Colonel Stewart, the only 
British subject left in the place when the siege began. Mr. 
Power's striking account of the defence, which was brought 
down in his journal, received at a much later date, to the close 
of July, made the public mind familiar with the chief traits of 
General Gordon's character, his undaunted courage, his inex- 
haustible resource, his singular gift of influencing men, savage 
or civilised, his high and chivalrous devotion to his country and 
to the cause of humanity. From time to time General Gordon's 
gunboats cleared the Nile of his enemies, and if he had been 
content to escape alone, leaving his mission unaccomplished and 
the memory of broken faith behind him, he might, doubtless, 
have retired, as some persons in this country apparently expected. 
But this course was with him morally impossible. The British 
Government took no active measures on his behalf, and even 
refused to state explicitly down to the close of the earlier session 
of Parliament whether or not an expedition would be sent for 
his relief. 

A succession of priceless opportunities was thus irreparably 
lost. On the coast of the Red Sea important operations had been 


undertaken, at a heavy cost and with no little bloodshed, the 
results of which, in the opinion of the most competent judges, 
might have been utilised for General Gordon's benefit. Osman 
Digma, an Arab chief professing attachment to the Mahdi, was 
pressing hard, at the beginning of the year, upon the port of 
Suakin and the neighbouring garrisons of Sinkat and Tokar, 
when he found himself threatened by Baker Pasha, who was 
hastily despatched from Cairo with an ill-organised army of 
Egyptians and Nubians. The Arabs fell upon them, slaughtering 
a vast number ; the rest fled in hopeless rout and palsied terror. 
The event might have been foreseen. It proved even more 
decisively than the ill-conduct of the Egyptian soldiery at Khar- 
toum that if Egypt, including the Red Sea littoral and the Lower 
Nile Valley, was to be defended against the rising tide of fanaticism 
native troops could not be trusted. 

The Ministry, after some w^eeks' painful suspense, resolved, 
immediately after the opening of Parliament, to send out General 
Graham with a British force to restore order. General Graham 
fought two pitched battles at Teb and Tamasi at the end of 
February and the beginning of March, defeating the Arabs, who 
displayed extraordinary bravery and determination, and driving 
Osman Digma into flight. No effort, however, was sanctioned 
by the Government for the opening of communications with 
Khartoum by the Suakin-Berber route, as General Gordon had 
suggested, nor was the design approved of a light railway to 
connect the Red Sea coast with the Nile Valley in view of a 
relief expedition. General Graham and the bulk of his troops 
were withdrawn, and Suakin, left under the protection of a few 
marines and some native levies, was soon harassed once more 
by Osman Digma and his adherents. A treaty concluded by 
Admiral Hewett with the King of Abyssinia has had no per- 
ceptible influence on the power of the Mahdi. 

Just before the close of the session in August, the Govern- 
ment obtained a vote of credit to provide for preliminary 
expenses in case an expedition to Khartoum should become 
necessary, but the matter was still left dubious. Preparations, 
however, were actively begun ; and at the close of the month 
Lord Wolseley left London, arriving at Cairo early in September. 
It was by that time decided that the expedition must be sent, 
and that the Nile route must be selected instead of the Suakin- 
Berber route. For the latter an earlier movement was indis- 


pensable, and the fall of Berber, in spite of General Gordon's 
efforts to rescue the place, was a paralysing loss. 

Lord Wolseley's preparations for the advance were of the most 
elaborate and costly character, but the difficulties of the river 
route at a season when the Nile had begun to fall have proved 
even more serious than had been anticipated. Fortunately, the 
Mudir of Dongola, on whose fidelity some doubts had been 
thrown, chiefly in consequence of his own ambiguous and con- 
tradictory messages, acted at the most critical time as a bulwark 
against the Mahdi's progress, and furnished a base of operations 
for the expeditionary force. The transport beyond Sarras, to 
which point the railway had been extended, was performed for 
the most part by whaleboats managed by Canadian boatmen, 
specially acquainted with the navigation of rapids. The work 
was both arduous and hazardous, and though Lord Wolseley's 
arrangements have hitherto kept the details of the campaign 
from the knowledge of people at home, his offer of a large reward 
to the regiment which should first reach Debbeh is a proof that 
he deems it necessary to resort to extraordinary expedients. 

It is calculated that by the first week of January Lord 
Wolseley wiU have 7000 men at Ambukol, but of these prob- 
ably less than one-third will be equipped for a dash across the 
desert to Shendy, whence the actual measures for the relief of 
Gordon, if it is not to be indefinitely delayed, must be under- 
taken. Of the situation in Khartoum scarcely any intelligence 
has of late reached this country, and the news received from 
General Gordon himself, confirming the report that Colonel 
Stewart, Mr. Power, and a body of troops sent forward with 
them from- the beleaguered city had been stranded near Berber 
and massacred by hostile tribes, can hardly be taken as of good 

While a timid and hesitating policy has involved the country 
in an extravagant expenditure on the Upper Nile, the extent of 
which Ministers themselves are at present afraid to contemplate 
— for the vote of .£1,000,000, obtained in the autumn session, is 
obviously a mere contribution "on account" — the position of 
ascendency in Lower Egypt secured for England by the labours 
and sacrifices of the war against Arabi has been brought into 
peril, or at least into question, by the financial difficulty. 
Early in the year it was made evident to the British Govern- 
ment that, owing in part to accumulated deficits and to the 


expense of the war in the Soudan, but chiefly to the indemnities 
for the losses caused by the Alexandria riots, the Egyptian 
Treasury must either make default or obtain a suspension of 
the Law of Liquidation. Lord Granville invited the European 
Powers to a Conference to discuss this alleged necessity and to 
consider the demand for a relaxation of the terms by which 
Egypt was bound. Unfortunately, it was thought expedient to 
purchase the goodwill of France by the promise, subject to the 
acceptance of the English financial proposals, of concessions 
amounting to a surrender of English ascendency in Egypt. The 
" Anglo-French Agreement " stipulated for the withdrawal of the 
British troops at a fixed date, unless Europe should insist on 
their remaining, for the adoption of a scheme to constitute the 
Khedive's dominions "an African Belgium," and for the strength- 
ening of the powers of the Caisse de la Dette Publique so as to 
establish in fact, if not in form, an " International Control." 

The Conference met, but the English financial proposals, in- 
volving a reduction all round on the interest payable to the 
creditors of Egypt, were opposed by the French representatives, 
and, as no understanding appeared to be attainable, the question 
was left without a solution. The Conference was dissolved in 
a somewhat peremptory manner by Lord Granville, and it was 
announced that Lord Northbrook would be at once sent out to 
Cairo to inquire into the subject independently. There seemed 
to be a hope that the Government would recognise facts, and in 
some manner induce the bondholders and the Powers behind 
them to relax the pressure of their legal claims. The security 
afforded by an English guarantee or by the formal acceptance by 
England of responsibility for the government of Egypt would 
have been adequate compensation for even a large reduction of 
interest. But Mr, Gladstone and his colleagues were unwilling 
to acknowledge their errors. 

Lord Northbrook returned from Cairo with a plan which 
was kept concealed from the public, but which, there is the best 
reason to believe, attempted to escape from the difficulty without 
accepting new responsibilities, by leaving the bondholders' interest 
untouched and relieving Egypt mainly by transferring the bur- 
den of the Army of Occupation to the broad back of the English 
taxpayer. The Cabinet could not be brought to consent to such 
a proposal as this, and after some delay an alternative scheme 
was propounded and laid before the Powers ; a loan was to be 



advanced by England, secured on the lands hitherto pledged to 
the Domains and Daira creditors, and the latter obligations were 
to be merged in the Preference and Unified Debts respectively ; 
to the Preference Debt were to be added new bonds to the 
amount of the Alexandria indemnities, but the interest was not 
to be reduced, while J per cent was to be taken off the interest 
on the increased mass of the Unified stock and the capital of 
the Suez Canal shares held by the British Government. How 
far this plan would permanently balance the Budget may be 

The assent of the Powers to the change in the Law of Liqui- 
dation has not yet been obtained, nor, indeed, has any formal 
answer been given, but the policy of England has been violently 
assailed both in France and Germany. A pretext for interven- 
tion has been afforded by the suspension of the Sinking Fund 
of the Unified Debt to meet the immediate emergency which 
Lord Northbrook pressed upon the Egyptian Government in the 
autumn. For this breach of the Law of Liquidation the Com- 
missioners of the Public Debt have prosecuted and obtained 
judgment against the Egyptian Government before the Interna- 
tional tribunals, and though, in the interval allowed for appeal, 
the judgment cannot be enforced, it is plain that the issue can- 
not be much longer staved off. It is important to note that 
Germany and Russia have chosen this moment to insist that 
their representatives shall be admitted to share in the rights and 
powers of the Caisse, and that the temporising reply of the 
Khedive's Ministers has been followed by renewed and more 
urgent demands. 

It is not in Egypt alone that England has found her policy 
crossed or criticised by other Powers. " The scramble for 
Africa " has become the subject of high diplomatic negotiations, 
and the final result is at present uncertain. The competition of 
rival explorers on the upper course of the Congo induced the 
British Foreign Office to recognise the obsolete claims of Por- 
tugal to the territorial possession of the lower part of the river, 
and a treaty embodying this recognition, with guarantees for 
freedom of trade, was laid before Parliament. The transaction 
was looked on with jealousy by the Portuguese, but it would 
probably have been ratified if Germany, followed by France 
and other Powers, had not declined to sanction it. An attempt 
was then made by England to procure the appointment of an 


International Commission to control and regulate the navigation 
and commerce of the Congo. 

Nothing, however, was done till the autumn, when, after a 
separate negotiation between Germany and France — at this time 
drawn closely together by Prince Bismarck's policy — a Conference 
was convened at Berlin to consider the subject. The German 
Chancellor had been affronted by the hesitating and illogical 
policy of the British Government in dealing with English claims 
over the territory extending from the recognised frontier of the 
Cape Colony to the Portuguese dominions. England had, in 
the first place, refused to give protection to German subjects in 
those regions, as not being British territory. Then, after Ger- 
many had asserted her right to annex the unoccupied coast, it 
was seriously argued that though this country had not annexed 
the territory in question, the possibility of annexing it in the 
future must not be parted with. Neither this position nor the 
encouragement given to the claims advanced when too late by 
the Cape Government could be maintained after the earlier dis- 
claimers of Ministers at home, and Prince Bismarck's peremp- 
tory language was at length answered by a complete surrender. 
The French Government, which had acquired the right to a 
reversion of the claims of the International Association on the 
Congo, was as much in favour with the Chancellor as the English 
Government was the contrary. 

Luckily, at the Conference this country stood on firm ground ; 
the ostensible object of the negotiations was to open the African 
continent to commerce, and English commercial policy has been 
strikingly distinguished from that of Germany and of France by 
the uncompromising acceptance of free trade. "We have nothing 
to lose but everything to gain by the opening of the Congo on 
equal terms to traders of all nations, and if the French and 
German colonies in Africa were to carry out the liberal prin- 
ciples adopted at Berlin the advantage to England would be 
considerable. The project of placing the Niger, of which the 
lower course is practically under an English protectorate, under 
the system of international control proposed for the Congo was 
not pressed against the British protest, and the Government 
will substantially have no change to make in the existing state 
of things, while the complications of a Commission including re- 
presentatives of several countries will be averted. 

A more difficult question remains to be determined in refer- 



ence to tlie future of the International Association, whicli has 
now been recognised as an established State by all the Great 
Powers. France has secured reversionary rights which she has 
agreed to share so far as trade is concerned with Germany, but 
both are pledged by the Berlin agreement to maintain com- 
mercial freedom and equality. The conditions of the reversion 
are still unsettled, and there is a boundary question between 
France and the Association which, in the interests of peace, 
ought to be closed. 

It is to be hoped that the British Government have not 
mismanaged another South African question as badly as that of 
Angra Pequena. The condition of Zululand has been one of 
turbulence and anarchy ever since the ill-judged recall of 
Cetywayo. Outside the Eeserve, in the presence of a declara- 
tion that the British authorities could not and would not inter- 
fere on either side, one section of the natives invoked the 
assistance of the Transvaal Boers, by whose aid they overthrew 
Usibepu, the victorious rival of Cetywayo. After this victory 
the Boers, as was to be expected, proceeded to establish for 
themselves a republican government in Zululand, of which they 
offered the presidency to General Joubert. Whether or not 
Joubert has been disposed to accept is doubtful. The most 
important point, however, is that, after the English declarations 
of non-interference have been reiterated and accentuated, it is 
rumoured that Germany has taken, or is about to take, possession 
of Ajnatonga Land, or to obtain from Portugal a grant of Delagoa 
Bay. St. Lucia Bay, ceded to England by the Zulu King Panda 
more than forty years ago, and situated on the east coast of 
South Africa, midway between Natal and Delagoa Bay, has also 
been pointed at as an object of German ambition, but this con- 
tingency seems to have been anticipated by the action of the 
Natal Government in raising the British flag on this debatable 
ground within the past few days. 

These difficulties are intimately connected with the tedious 
controversy relating to the Transvaal border. President Kruger 
and two other representatives of the Boers visited England early 
in the year and obtained important modifications, in the interest 
of the Transvaal, of the Pretoria Convention. The British 
Government, however, refused to deliver up the Bechuanas, who 
had some claim to be considered our allies, and the command of 
the main trade route of South Africa to the Boer adventurers. 


A British protectorate over Bechuanaland was established by 
the revised Convention, which was duly signed by the delegates 
and afterwards ratified by the Volksraad, and Mr. Mackenzie 
was appointed British Agent under Sir Hercules Eobinson, the 
Governor of Cape Colony and High Commissioner. 

The Boers, however, who had set up what they called inde- 
pendent republics in Bechuanaland, imagined that they could 
extort further concessions by obstinate resistance. They set Mr. 
Mackenzie's authority at nought, waged war against the chief 
Montsioa, whose rights had been specially reserved, and com- 
pelled him to accept a treaty which virtually placed his lands 
at their disposal. The High Commissioner and the English 
Government were treated with gross insolence, and Mr. Bethell, 
an English gentleman acting as agent for one of the Bechuana 
chiefs, was brutally and treacherously murdered. When Par- 
liament met in the autumn. Ministers hastened to avert a 
damaging debate by the announcement that the Boers would be 
made to respect the terms of the Convention, if necessary by 
force of arms. The Ministerial project, however, of placing 
Bechuanaland under the Cape Government appeared to be open 
to question, when it was seen that a powerful party among the 
colonists, including the Premier, Mr. Upington, sympathised 
with the Boers. 

The task of restoring order in Bechuanaland, of enforcing 
the terms of the Convention, and of protecting Montsioa was at 
length undertaken directly by the Imperial Government. A 
vote of three-quarters of a million sterling was granted by 
Parliament in November for the expenses of the expedition, 
which has been placed under the command of Sir Charles 
Warren, with full powers, both military and political. The 
ultimate settlement of the questions in dispute is, it is said, to 
be left to the Cape Parliament, subject to the approval of the 
Imperial Government. It is necessary to remember, in con- 
sidering the effect of these complications, that the Boer delegates, 
before returning to Africa, visited Holland and Germany, and 
claimed, on the score of kinship, the sympathy and aid of the 
German Empire. 

No other part of our Colonial Empire has been exposed to 
the same trials as South Africa, but in Australia a group of 
questions has arisen for debate which must be delicately, and 
at the same time firmly, handled. The Australian colonists, 


reasonably alarmed at the growth of the Ftench penal settle- 
ments in New Caledonia, and the probability that by the 
Recidivists Bill, introduced by M. Ferry's Ministry, the evil 
would be enormously increased, pressed upon the Home Govern- 
ment the necessity not only of resisting the exportation of the 
off-scouring of European gaols to the Southern Pacific, but of 
annexing New Guinea and the neighbouring islands, where, it 
was believed, German occupation was meditated. 

The Colonial Office put in as a plea for delay the demand, 
which it was not expected the colonists would speedily comply 
with, for a preliminary scheme of intercolonial federation. But 
colonial opinion was so keenly excited that a federal scheme 
was at once prepared by the delegates of the several colonies 
assembled in conference at Sydney ; and though the Government 
of New South Wales subsequently withdrew from the under- 
standing, the Governments of Victoria, South Australia, Queens- 
land, West Australia, and Tasmania formally approved it, and 
petitioned the Imperial Ministers to pass an " enabling " Act 
without delay. The offence taken by New South Wales has, 
however, rendered any Imperial legislation most difficult, even if 
time could have been found for it at the close of last session or 
before the recent adjournment, and Lord Derby has sent out a 
despatch to the Governments of the various colonies suggesting 
several emendations. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has been 
negotiating with France on the subject of the Recidivists Bill, 
and has at least succeeded in postponing any decision adverse to 
the claims of the colonists, who, it should be understood, are 
fully prepared to take measures to protect themselves if the 
French do not recede. 

In regard to the annexation of New Guinea, the hand of the 
Imperial Government had been forced by the unauthorised act 
of the Queensland authorities at the close of last year. In 
October a British protectorate over a portion of the southern 
coast of the island was proclaimed, which, however, by no 
means satisfied colonial aspirations. It is announced, as the 
year closes, that the German Government have occupied the 
northern coast of New Guinea, as well as New Britain and the 
adjacent isles, and if this be so the case is a parallel one to that 
of Angra Pequena. 

Of the other colonies there is little to record. The West 
Indies have been suffering severely, in part from depression of 


trade, but more, perhaps, from the results of an unsound fiscal 
system. Jamaica has not, however, been tempted to enter into 
a commercial confederacy with Canada, where the protectionist 
spirit is as strong as ever. These questions of conflicting tariffs 
are among the diflB.culties which stand in the way of the accom- 
plishment of any project of Imperial federation. The desire, 
both among colonists and in the mother country, that the unity 
of the Empire should be maintained has been expressed in a 
striking form at a conference which met in the summer and 
reassembled in the autumn at the Westminster Palace Hotel. 
Several distinguished men of both parties in the State gave 
their aid and approval to the movement, and an "Imperial 
Federation League " was formed, which will, at all events, make 
the country familiar with the conditions of an interesting 

The internal tranquillity of India, which was broken last 
year by Lord Ripon's unlucky attempt to conciliate the senti- 
ment of a small minority of ambitious natives at the expense of 
administrative efficiency and the convictions of Anglo-Indians, 
was outwardly restored by the enactment of the compromise 
on the Ilbert Bill agreed upon before New Year's Day. But the 
irritation on both sides has not, unfortunately, disappeared, and 
the retirement of Lord Ripon has been made the occasion for 
a display of feeling, favourable and unfavourable to the late 
Viceroy, which is without precedent in the history of India. 

Lord Dufferin, who has been appointed to succeed Lord 
Ripon, has been welcomed without reserve by all classes, and 
each side probably cherishes the hope of winning him over to 
its views. The new Governor-General has practical problems 
to deal with, which are even more serious than those raised by 
the sentimental jealousies of race and the attempts of agitators 
to pour the new wine of European democracy into the old 
bottles of Hindoo society. We published during the autumn a 
careful account of the armies and military organisations of the 
Native States of India, in which it was shown that the feudatory 
Princes, some of whom, at least, are of doubtful loyalty, kept 
on foot just 350,000 soldiers, with 4237 pieces of artillery. 
As the Anglo-Indian army, which has to maintain order among 
a population four times as numerous as that of the feudatory 
States, numbers only some 65,000 Europeans and 125,000 
natives, the disproportion is a grave matter, especially at a time 


when some experienced officials do not disguise their apprehen- 
sion of internal dangers, and when the activity of Russia on the 
side of Afghanistan has heen renewed. 

Lord Dufferin, on the eve of his departure for India, laid 
down the sound principle that the security of a nation's frontiers 
must not be allowed to remain dependent on the goodwill or the 
forbearance of any foreign Power. The delimitation of the 
Russian and Afghan frontiers, in which it was agreed that 
English officers should take part on behalf of the Ameer, has 
not yet been practically begun ; but the engineers and scientific 
men who left India in the autumn and joined their chief, Sir 
Peter Lumsden, on the western borders of Afghanistan are 
established on the banks of the Murghab for the winter. The 
Russian Commissioners were to have met them there in February, 
but it has been somewhat audaciously announced that the Chief 
Commissioner on the part of the Czar, General Zelenoy, has just 
started to make holiday, at this critical juncture, at his country 
residence near Tiflis. Meanwhile, the Russian troops are re- 
ported to be busy, whether in the guise of surveying parties or 
not, in the districts which are to be " delimited," and Sir Peter 
Lumsden appears to have found a Russian force encamped at 
Pul-i-Khatun, which is within the debatable region claimed by 
the Afghans. 

In the United States the Presidential election has been the 
absorbing topic throughout the year. The session of Congress 
which ended in March was rendered abortive by the desire of 
both parties to avoid a direct issue on the Free Trade question, 
which for the present has been shelved. The Democrats laid 
themselves out for a "waiting game," patching up their intestine 
differences with regard to the tariff and founding their hopes of 
regaining control of the Executive after an ostracism of nearly a 
quarter of a century on the probability that the Republicans 
would select an objectionable candidate. This anticipation was 
realised when the Republican Convention at Chicago nominated 
Mr. Blaine, a politician of long and varied experience and of 
unequalled influence both as an orator and as a wirepuller, but 
conspicuously hostile to the movement for administrative reform 
and the purification of politics. The "Independent" or 
"reforming" section of the Republicans at once declared that 
if the Democrats chose at their Convention a candidate of high 
public character, such as Mr. Cleveland, the Governor of New 


York State, they would sink party considerations and vote for 
the " Democratic ticket" 

Mr. Cleveland, accordingly, was chosen, and the campaign of 
the autumn turned upon a comparison between his personal 
claims and those of Mr. Blaine. The latter was accused of 
having misused his power as Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives for private and corrupt objects, and of having pursued, 
as Secretary of State and as leader of the Republican party in 
the Senate, a pernicious and turbulent policy at home and 
abroad. Mr. Cleveland was known as having courageously com- 
bated in his office as Governor both municipal corruption and 
" rings " dominated by intriguing capitalists ; but charges against 
his individual purity of life were employed with effect to deter 
wavering Republicans from voting against their party. The 
situation was complicated by the appearance of General Butler 
as a candidate of the Repudiationists and the so-called " Friends 
of Labour," and of Mr. St. John as the standard-bearer of the 
" liquor-prohibitionists." These, however, were looked upon as 
merely diversions, and did not seriously affect the result. 

Mr. Blaine's appeals to the anti-English spirit of the Irish 
voters failed to draw them away from their established alliance 
with the Democrats ; the " Tammany hall " wire-pullers, after 
some hesitation, found that they must support Mr. Cleveland ; 
and the south " went solid " on the same side. The elections 
of 4th November showed that Mr. Cleveland had undoubtedly 
carried, apart from the south, the States of New Jersey, Con- 
necticut, and Indiana, the rest of the north and west being 
conceded to Mr. Blaine. The opposing parties were thus left 
almost precisely on an equality, and the decision rested with 
New York, which was for a day or two in doubt, but which was 
ultimately acknowledged to have "gone Democratic" by a 
narrow majority. The project of a treaty with Nicaragua giving 
the United States control over the proposed inter-oceanic canal 
has found little favour, and can hardly be ratified by the present 

Continental politics during the year were important rather 
for their tendencies than their incidents. Prince Bismarck has 
succeeded, to all appearance, in consolidating the good under- 
standing with France which has been for some time a main 
object with him ; England has been to a great extent " isolated," 
and Italy, according to the prevalent belief in Germany, has 


been punished for assuming an attitude of criticism and reserve 
by reduction to a state of comparative insignificance. The 
original " League of the Three Emperors " was formally renewed 
in the autumn at a meeting of the sovereigns of Germany, 
Austria, and Russia in Poland. The effect of these diplomatic 
achievements may, perhaps, be already traced in the develop- 
ments of the Egyptian and West African diflBculties. On the 
Continent, however, they have been favourable to the mainten- 
ance of international peace, nor, in spite of the terror inspired 
by Anarchist conspiracies, have there been in any European 
country any noteworthy political changes. The recent elections 
to the German Parliament have strengthened the Conservatives, 
the Clericals, and the Moderate Liberals at the expense of 
the Radical party ; but they have also revealed the great 
and growing strength of the Socialist Democrats in the large 

The Chancellor and the new Reichstag have been from the 
outset at cross purposes. Prince Bismarck has treated the 
Liberals and the Clericals in turn with something like con- 
tumely ; he has refused to satisfy either side in dealing with 
the Falk Laws, and he has declined to sanction the payment of 
members ; he has had to face overpowering hostile majorities, 
and has even been affronted by a denial of the assistance which 
he demanded in the Foreign Department. These domestic 
wrangles are in curious contrast with the influence of the 
Chancellor in Continental politics. Austria follows submis- 
sively in the wake of Germany, and Russia has postponed her 
European to her Asiatic ambitions in deference to German 

The minor States have been, on the whole, untroubled. In 
Spain King Alfonso early in the year called Senor Canovas del 
Castillo to office, in view of the quarrels between the supporters 
of Senor Sagasta and the discontented Liberals, and the Con- 
servative Government, being assured of the support of the new 
Cortes, appear to be firmly established in power. The designs 
of Senor Zorrilla and the extreme Radicals, which once seemed 
to portend another appeal to military force, have come to no- 
thing. A commercial treaty has been arranged with the United 
States, and it is believed that the long-standing controversy with 
this country on the subject of the wine duties will soon be closed. 
In Italy politics were paralysed by the ravages of the cholera, 


against whicli ridiculous and offensive quarantine measures 
proved entirely ineffectual. 

The most serious political crisis has arisen in Belgium, where 
a sudden shift of public opinion overthrew a Liberal majority 
and placed a Clerical Government in power. A reaction, as was 
natural, has quickly followed this sudden transformation of 
parts ; the educational policy of the new Ministry provoked 
violent popular protests, culminating in serious riots and a 
demand that the King should use his prerogative to cut the 
knot ; and, finally, the Administration was modified, while still 
remaining Clerical, by the retirement of the Premier, M. Malou. 
The agitation in Belgium is in contrast with the quietude of 
Dutch politics, though the death of the Prince of Orange pro- 
duced a slight feeling of uneasiness lest the succession of a 
Princess should give rise to controversy. Eastern Europe has 
been comparatively at rest. Turkish misgovernment or mal- 
administration has led to rumours of disturbances both in 
Macedonia and Armenia. The diplomacy of the Porte has been 
principally engaged in attempting, without much practical suc- 
cess, to obtain the recognition of the Sultan's authority over 
Egypt and to reassert the influence of Turkey in the counsels of 
the Great Powers. 

In France M. Jules Ferry maintains his position, in spite of 
repeated checks, as, apparently, the only possible Minister. A 
" Congress " of the two Chambers assembled in the springs to 
discuss the proposed revision of the Constitution, and, after 
some Parliamentary controversy on the details of the measure, 
a compromise was arranged, with which the Moderates were 
fairly content, while the Extreme parties on both sides were 
disappointed. No new life Senators, it was agreed, were to be 
chosen. The Senatorial electors of the future are to be delegates 
of the municipal bodies. In the more recent debates on the 
Bill embodying these changes an amendment was carried in the 
Chamber of Deputies, on the motion of M. Floquet, insisting on 
the election of Senators by universal suffrage. M. Ferry, how- 
ever, ventured to disregard this vote of a Kadical-Royalist coali- 
tion, and when the Bill went up to the Senate the Floquet 
amendment was excised. Some minor concessions, however, 
were made to the advanced Republicans ; the Chamber then 
renewed its fidelity to M. Ferry by a majority of fifty- three, and the 
Bill passed substantially in its original form. We may men- 


tion, also, the legal establishment of divorce by M. Naquet's 
Bill and the continued disputes between Prince Napoleon and 
his son, Prince Victor, which have paralysed Bonapartism. 

But the political interest of the year in France was mainly 
fixed upon external affairs, and especially upon the difficulties 
with China. The fall of Bac-ninh early in the spring led to an 
apparent collapse of the Chinese resistance. The fighting ceased 
in Tonquin, and in May a provisional treaty was signed between 
Li-Hung-Chang, who was believed to be at the head of the 
peace party, and a French naval officer. Captain Fournier. It 
is a hotly-contested point whether this arrangement was intended 
to be definitive and immediate or not ; but the French com- 
mander in Tonquin proceeded at once to enforce the cession of 
the posts in the border country which were mentioned in the 
treaty. The Chinese troops resisted the march of the French 
on Langson, and fired upon them. France, of course, protested 
against this breach of faith, and demanded the payment of an 
indemnity ; but the Government at Pekin proved to be in no 
yielding mood. When diplomatic menaces had failed, a French 
squadron attacked the forts near the entrance of the harbour of 
Foochow and inflicted some damage on them, as well as on the 
arsenal and some worthless Chinese vessels. China still refused 
to come to terms, and France then sought a " material guarantee " 
in the island of Formosa, where Kelung and other important 
but unhealthy positions have been seized, and where a per- 
manent occupation is said to be contemplated, unless the Pekin 
Government agree to make reparation for the affair at Langson. 

As China has not accepted the English mediation, which was 
invited by France, and to which Lord Granville at the Guildhall 
dinner in November declared himself favourable, it is probable 
that the policy of occupying Formosa will have to be supple- 
mented by more vigorous measures. These, indeed, were ob- 
viously kept in view by the Chamber, which has lately voted 
large war credits for M. Ferry, in spite of the bitter opposition 
of M. Clemenceau. Meanwhile the operations in Tonquin are 
said to be languishing, and the Chinese defences are being con- 
stantly strengthened. It is clear, also, that Li-Hung-Chang has 
finally cast in his lot with the party of war. The recent 
revolution in Corea has not as yet acted powerfully as a 
diversion. In Madagascar the Hovas are not yet subdued, and 
in Morocco French intrigues, which for a moment looked 


serious, liave resulted only in tlie irritation and the alienation 
of Spain. 

Many events, at home and abroad, deserve a passing record 
apart from politics. The outbreak of cholera in the south of 
France early in the summer produced widespread dismay all 
over the Continent, and great inconvenience through the imposi- 
tion of quarantine. The disease subsequently appeared in 
Italy, and late in the autumn there was a sharp and short 
epidemic in Paris. But it was, on the whole, more restricted 
and less fatal than former visitations. 

We have noticed the repeated attempts to destroy life and 
property by dynamite in this country, and wicked designs of the 
same sort were brought to light both in Europe and America. 
Among these may be specially mentioned the conspiracy for the 
destruction of the German Emperor and the vast gathering of 
spectators assembled at the unveiling of the Niederwald monu- 
ment ; of this crime, and of an explosion planned at Elberfeld, 
several men were convicted lately, after a long and interesting 
trial, at Leipsic. In Kussia the Government is engaged in a 
constant warfare with Nihilists ; and in Austria the Anarchist 
terror divides the public interest with the commercial frauds, 
which have led to several sensational trials and suicides. 

In our own country there have been an unusual number of 
striking cases before the Courts of Law. Mrs. Weldon's endless 
litigations and her very considerable success in pleading her own 
cause have multiplied the nuisance of the " suitor in person." 
The question of Mr. Bradlaugh's right to be sworn, and of his 
liability for damages for having administered the oath to him- 
self, remains to be settled by the highest tribunaL The case of 
" Adams v. Coleridge " attracted attention from the connections 
of the defendant and the overriding of the verdict of the jury 
by Mr. Justice Manisty. The interest excited by Miss Finney's 
breach-of-promise action against Lord Garmoyle was abated by 
the fact that the question left for decision in court was one of 
damages only, though the sum awarded was the largest ever 
obtained in a case of the kind. The trial of the survivors of the 
crew of the Mignonette on a charge of cannibalism at sea ended 
in the conviction of the accused, which was upheld by the 
Court of Appeal ; but the death sentence was reduced by the 
Crown to one of six months' imprisonment. The release of 
Orton, at the close of his term of penal servitude, has been 


followed by an abortive attempt to revive the "Ticbborne" 

Tbe captivity of the crew of the Nisero in Sumatra excited 
general sympathy. Of naval disasters, unfortunately too fre- 
quent, the most painful was the wreck of Her Majesty's ship 
Wasp on the west coast of Ireland. 

Among social occurrences may be noted the elevation of the 
Poet Laureate to the peerage, the retirement of Archbishop 
Trench from the See of Dublin, in which he was succeeded by 
Lord Plunket, and the appointment of Mr. Warre as Head- 
master of Eton. Of more universal interest is the announcement 
made in the last hours of the year of the betrothal of Princess 
Beatrice, Her Majesty's youngest and only unmarried daughter, 
to Prince Henry of Battenberg. The Health Exhibition at 
South Kensington proved even a more remarkable success than 
the Fisheries Exhibition of the preceding year. The revival of 
industrial activity in the Southern States is shown in the New 
Orleans Exhibition. It is worth while to mention the contro- 
versy on " over-pressure " in Board schools between the Educa- 
tion Department and Dr. Crichton Browne, and one of a still 
more personal kind between Mr. Chamberlain and Professor 

Society in France has been shocked by the frequency of 
murders, prompted by sordid or revengeful motives, the most 
recent and conspicuous case being that of Madame Clovis Hugues, 
the wife of a well-known Kadical deputy, who shot a private 
detective, against whom she had been successfully pressing a 
charge of criminal libel. As the year closes Southern Spain 
has been devastated by terrible and disastrous earthquakes. 
England, which has rarely suffered from such natural convul- 
sions, will long remember the shock which alarmed the inhabit- 
ants of Essex in the spring. 

The death-roll of the year embraces many famous and 
remarkable names, though none, perhaps, of such eminence as 
to signalise an irreparable loss or a national disaster. The 
domestic happiness of the Eoyal Family was cruelly broken in 
upon by the unexpected blow which struck down the Duke of 
Albany in the full prime of his early promise at Cannes. Two 
foreign princes have passed away whose deaths, unlike that of 
the Queen's youngest son, have set political speculation at work. 
The descent of the crown of the Netherlands on the decease of 


tlie last Crown Prince of Orange has, indeed, been provided for 
by local legislation, and the succession to the Duchy of Bruns- 
wick has in like manner been pre-arranged, at least negatively, 
by the exclusion of the Duke of Cumberland, unless he consents 
to renounce his claim to Hanover in favour of Prussia. 

Among public men at home the death of Mr. Fawcett was 
most widely and sincerely lamented. His manly independence 
of character, his intellectual honesty, his genial and kindly 
temper, and above all the simplicity, the dignity, and the patient 
courage with which he bore the disabilities and the disappoint- 
ments of his blindness won for Mr. Fawcett a high place in the 
esteem of opponents as well as allies, and as Postmaster-General 
he had shown administrative ability of a high order. 

In Lord Ampthill, British Ambassador at Berlin, this country 
lost one of the most accomplished of diplomatists, and in Sir 
Bartle Frere a striking example of that masterful and enter- 
prising genius, too daring for the strict limitations of modern 
statesmanship, which is developed in the school of Indian and 
colonial government. The figure of Mr. Milner-Gibson, once a 
pillar, with Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright, of the Manchester 
school, had almost faded out of the public memory when he 
died, and the same thing may be said of a more vigorous and 
healthy type of politician, Mr. Henley. 

Among other deaths we may note those of the Duke of 
Buccleuch and the Duke of Wellington ; of Mr. Bass, the head 
of the great brewing firm, long known as one of the patriarchs 
of the House of Commons ; of Mr. Judah P. Benjamin, who, 
after a successful forensic and political career on the other side 
of the Atlantic, won when past middle life the very highest 
position at the English Bar as an advocate and an authority on 
commercial and international law ; of Mr. Charles Reade, a 
striking and original novelist ; of Mr. Abraham Hayward, a 
brilliant and entertaining essayist, even more famous for his 
powers of conversation and his Wealth of anecdote ; of Mr. 
Thomas Chenery, an eminent Oriental scholar, and for several 
years the editor of this journal ; of Mr. Home and Mr. Calver- 
ley, both known as poets, though of very diverse gifts ; of 
Bishop Jacobson ; of Sir Alexander Grant, Principal of the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh ; of the Eev. Mark Pattison, Rector of 
Lincoln College, Oxford ; of Dr. Goodford, Provost of Eton ; 
of Sir Erasmus Wilson, professionally celebrated as a dermatolo- 


gist, but popularly known by his munificent contribution to the 
cost of bringing Cleopatra's Needle to England ; of Sir Michael 
Costa, the composer ; and of Mr. H. J. Byron, one of the most 
prolific and successful of contemporary dramatists. 

In France the deaths were recorded of M. Rouher, the once 
all-powerful Minister — the " Vice-Emperor," as he was called — 
of Napoleon III. ; of M. Jean Baptiste Dumas, the distinguished 
chemist ; of M. Eugene Pelletan, a sincere and high-minded 
member of the Republican party in the Senate ; of M. Mignet, 
the historian and life-long friend of Thiers; of M. Bastien 
Lepage, the artist ; and of M. Tissot, formerly Ambassador in 
London and Constantinople. 

Germany lost Lasker, the Parliamentary orator ; Geibel, the 
poet ; Karl Hillebrand, the critic ; and Lepsius, the Egyptolo- 
gist ; Austria, Hans Makart, the painter ; Italy, Quintino Sella, 
a statesman of high character and large experience ; Russia, 
General Todleben, the great engineer who defended Sebastopol 
against the Allies, and who, long afterwards, was Commander- 
in-Chief during the latter part of the war with Turkey. 

In the obituary of the United States the most conspicuous 
name is that of Mr. Wendell Phillips, the Abolitionist, whose 
splendid gifts of oratory were wasted or turned to mischievous 
purposes in his declining years through an incurable incapacity 
in politics and a violently intolerant tempet. 

Among other persons worthy of note for various reasons who 
died during the past twelve months we may mention Midhat 
Pasha, once Prime Minister of the Sultan, but lately a prisoner 
of State ; Keshub Chunder Sen, the founder of the Brahmo- 
Somaj ; Cetywayo, the unfortunate Zulu King ; and Taglioni 
and Fanny Elssler, both among the most famous of opera-dancers. 


Not many of the years that have elapsed since the beginning 
of the century have been so thronged with great and pregnant 
events, at home and abroad, as that which has just closed. It 
has seen the entire reconstruction of the representative system 
of the United Kingdom on the basis of household suffrage in 
the counties as well as in the boroughs, and the consequent 
redistribution of political power, the development of the Seces- 
sionist movement in Ireland, the abandonment of the Crimes 
Act, and the revival of the tyranny of the National League, 
the downfall of Mr. Gladstone's Administration and the 
acceptance of office by Lord Salisbury, the oratorical campaign 
of the autumn, the pretensions of the Radical leaders to impose 
a Socialistic programme upon the Liberal party, the vicissitudes 
of the general election, and the attempt to put forward Home 
Rule for Ireland as a measure of constitutional reform favoured 
by the leader of one of the historic English parties. 

The denouement of the Egyptian tragedy, the negotiations 
with Russia upon the Afghan boundary dispute, and the re- 
opening of the Eastern question have kept public interest on 
the stretch from January to December. The dangers and 
difficulties in which the mother country seemed to be involved 
drew the colonists closer to her and to each other and quickened 
the spirit of imperial union, while the fidelity both of our 
fellow -subjects in India and of the feudatory Princes was 
attested by substantial proofs. Under the pressure of potent 
forces, against which a halting statesmanship protests and 
struggles in vain, the circle of Empire is ever widening. The 
establishment of one protectorate in Bechuanaland and of 
another over a large portion of New Guinea were concessions 


to a forward policy which even Mr. Gladstone's Government 
could not refuse, and, for the first time since the retirement of 
Lord Dalhousie, the British dominions in India have been 
extended by the overthrow of Upper Burmah as an independent 

In Germany the development of Prince Bismarck's con- 
ception of a Colonial Empire, though by no means abandoned, 
has been recently thrown into the shade by the struggle in the 
Balkan Peninsula, which has brought clearly into view the 
rival ambitions of Eussia and Austria, and has cast doubts on 
the possibility of maintaining the DreiJcaiserhund. In France 
a violent and abrupt reaction against the adventures into which 
M. Ferry had too lightly plunged in Tonquin and Madagascar 
precipitated the fall of his Government, and the general election 
which followed a few months later showed how deeply the 
Opportunists had been discredited, giving the Monarchist Con- 
servatives a formidable minority in the Chamber and strengthen- 
ing the Extreme Left. In Spain the death of King Alfonso 
seemed to place in jeopardy the restored Monarchy and has 
added to the anxieties of the statesmen of Europe. 

Parliament had adjourned, after the arrangement between 
the two parties on the Franchise Bill and the Seats Bill, to 
the 19th of February, and during the interval the principal 
topics of discussion in domestic politics were the operations of 
the Boundary Commissioners, who had to work out the redis- 
tribution scheme, and the policy disclosed by Mr. Chamberlain 
in his speeches at Birmingham and Ipswich. The former 
proved to be chiefly of local interest, nor were the efforts of 
Mr. Courtney and Sir John Lubbock to raise a popular pro- 
test against the single-member system and to organise public 
opinion in favour of proportional representation in any appreci- 
able degree successful. The enactment of the Kedistribution 
Bill had come to be a foregone conclusion before Parliament 
met, and, in fact, many candidates on both sides had abeady 
begun to court the new constituencies. 

The "new departure" in Liberal policy announced by 
Mr. Chamberlain was a far more serious matter. It was 
avowedly intended to appeal to the newly enfranchised masses,, 
and proclaimed, with this object, doctrines and proposals 
repudiated down to that time by all responsible politicians, 
Liberal and Conservative. What "ransom," Mr. Chamberlain 


asked, were the well-to-do classes prepared to pay to those who 
otherwise would " make short work " of private property 1 
He disinterred the revolutionary doctrine of " natural rights," 
derived from the teachings of Rousseau, and claimed in principle, 
for every man, "an apportioned share in the great natural 
inheritance of the race," meaning the soil of the country. 
The "ransom" — or, as he afterwards phrased it, the "in- 
surance " — which he proposed to exact from the owners of 
property and the thrifty contained many different elements, 
and was gradually developed, — free education, improved 
dwellings for the labouring classes at " fair rents," a Land Bill 
on the Irish model for the farmers, the purchase of land for 
allotments and the provision of free libraries and other 
advantages by local elected bodies at the charge of the rate- 
payers, and the abolition of indirect taxes. 

Mr. Chamberlain also insisted that the country was bound 
to " find work and employment for our artisans at home," 
though little has since been heard of this particular loan from 
the armoury of Continental Socialism. Property was to contri- 
bute towards this re-endowment of natural rights through a 
system of graduated taxation and special burdens on land- 
owners, while, at the same time, it was threatened with 
" restitution " as well as " ransom," Mr. Chamberlain and Sir 
Charles Dilke warmly approving of Mr. Jesse Collings' proposal 
to set aside existing statutes of limitation and the doctrine of 
prescription, one of the first steps towards civilisation and 
settled law, by resuming possession of enclosed commons for 
the benefit, not of the commoners, but of the community. The 
resources, however, to be derived from the appropriation of the 
possession of the Established Church were the means to which 
the new school of Radicals mainly looked in forming their 

The Liberal party were fluttered by Mr. Chamberlain's 
bold attempt to place himself at the head of a separate move- 
ment, but, though several of the Parliamentary leaders depre- 
cated alarm, and contended, with Mr. Trevelyan, that there 
was no reason to fear the success of projects of " confiscation 
and communism" with the new electorate, none of them, 
except Mr. Goschen, had the courage to record, at this stage, 
an emphatic and explicit protest against pretensions incom- 
patible with the best traditions of English Liberalism. Just 


before the meeting of Parliament Mr. Gladstone took occasion 
to strengthen his Government by admitting to the Cabinet 
Lord Eosebery, who had identified himself with an imperial 
as distinguished from an insular policy, and Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, 
who, if a Kadical, was also an economist. But intestine 
contentions were for a time suspended while the disaster at 
Khartoum and the controversy with Russia absorbed the 
attention of Parliament and of the nation. The same causes, 
no doubt, contributed to help the Redistribution and Registra- 
tion Bills through the House of Commons. 

The most remarkable and ominous sign of what was coming 
was Mr. Parnell's frank statement of what he intended to work 
for and was confident of achieving after the admission of the 
new voters. The absolute minimum of the Irish demand, he 
declared, was the restoration of "Grattan's Parliament," but 
he could not promise that this would suffice ; " we have never 
attempted to fix the ne plus ultra of Ireland's nationhood, and 
we never shall." This defiance was accompanied by a denuncia- 
tion of the Land Court and the judicial rents, and a significant 
eulogium on the National League, which Mr. Trevelyan, gulled 
by the adroit use of constitutional phrases, had allowed to grow 
up in the place and with all the powers of the Land League. 
On the subject of the dynamite outrages at the Tower and the 
Houses of Parliament, undoubtedly the work of Irish- American 
conspirators, Mr. Pamell was significantly silent. 

The news that the Prince and Princess of Wales were to 
visit Ireland excited much attention and some adverse comment 
on both sides of St George's Channel. The visit turned out a 
success, in spite of the fervid appeals of Mt. Sexton and the 
unmanly conduct of the municipal bodies ; the Loyalists of all 
creeds and classes united in welcoming the heir - apparent 
and his family, but, though the masses showed, on the whole, 
a better temper than their leaders, there was no sign of a 
friendlier disposition towards the English Government. 

Mr. Parneir rigorously and effectually trampled upon every 
stirring of independence, and, as his supremacy became more 
manifest, it exercised a more powerful fascination over some 
keen partisans in England. The nearer the House of Commons 
drew to the completion of the task of reform, the more serious 
grew the indications that the renewal of the Crimes Act would 
not be opposed by the Parnellites alone. A section of Advanced 


Liberals, of whom Mr. John Morley was the most conspicuous, 
denounced "exceptional legislation" as intolerable and im- 
practicable, and Lord Randolph Churchill, with a certain 
following on the Conservative side, inclined to the same view. 
It soon came to be confidently rumoured that the Cabinet was 
unable to come to an agreement on the question of renewal, 
and it was affirmed that three Ministers, Mr. Chamberlain, 
Sir Charles Dilke, and Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, were ready to resign 
rather than consent to give Lord Spencer the powers he con- 
sidered necessary for the preservation of order. Affairs were 
in this position, though an open rupture had been for the 
moment averted, when Mr. Gladstone's Government was 
defeated on the Budget proposals, and, after delays and negotia- 
tions which properly belong to the history of the Parlia- 
mentary session, Lord Salisbury accepted office. 

The new Ministry came into power under many disad- 
vantages, some of their own making. It was resolved, no doubt 
under Lord Randolph Churchill's impulsion, to try the experi- 
ment of ruling Ireland without exceptional powers. The 
attitude of the Radicals confirmed Ministers in ,this resolution. 
Mr. Chamberlain, the moment he was released from the 
trammels of office, had gone out of his way to find in the Govern- 
ment of Ireland, such as it had been during Lord Spencer's 
Viceroyalty and under Mr. Gladstone's responsibility, a de- 
grading resemblance to Russian tyranny in Poland and Austrian 
tyranny in Venice. This was before the Conservatives had 
shown their hand, for afterwards the Radicals gave free 
expression to the just indignation which other people felt at 
Lord Spencer's treatment in the Maamtrasna debate, and which 
took shape formally in a banquet to the honour of the late 
Lord-Lieutenant, when representatives of all shades of Liberalism 
were present. 

Lord Carnarvon too confidently declared that Ireland could 
be governed without other powers than those of the ordinary 
law, and his reception in the course of a tour throughout the 
island soon after the close of the session gave some encourage- 
ment to these fond hopes. Mr. Parnell and his friends, it is 
true, were as outspoken as ever, but it was clear that, while 
strengthening the organisation of the National League and 
declaring war against rent and landlords, they desired, till after 
the general election, to avoid a conflict with the law and to 


repress outrages which would excite English opinion. At the 
same time, the projected visit to Ireland of Mr. Chamberlain 
and Sir Charles Dilke, which had been announced as soon as 
Lord Salisbury came into ofl&ce, was dropped in view of the 
open display of hostility to Liberal politicians on the part of 
the Separatist leaders. 

The activity of mind and body which Mr. Gladstone had 
shown, principally in the Egyptian and Afghan debates, had 
been suspended after the resignation of his Government, owing 
to an affection of the throat and voice, which for the time 
withdrew the Liberal leader from Parliamentary life. He 
announced, however, in . an address to the electors of Mid- 
lothian, his intention of again seeking their suffrages, con- 
sidering that the decision of the new electorate involved a 
direct judgment upon his official conduct and his policy at the 
head of affairs. His attitude, meanwhile, towards the Con- 
servative Ministry was dignified and tolerant, and, though 
Mr. Chamberlain exhausted the vocabulary of contemptuous 
invective in denouncing the "Cabinet of Caretakers," at the 
close of the session Lord Salisbury and his colleagues had 
distinctly gained ground. They had been fairly successful 
with legislation, and our foreign relations were put upon a 
better footing. 

An interval of welcome respite from anxiety and agitation 
followed, but it was not of long duration. Mr. Chamberlain 
was the earliest and the most untiring in his efforts to kindle 
enthusiasm among the voters, old and new ; he spoke with 
undisguised scorn of the commonplace measures of local self- 
government and so forth, which might " make the hot blood of 
a Whig course more rapidly through his veins," but would not 
touch the people; he met the expostulations and reserves 
of his moderate allies with sneers at " the political Rip van 
Winkle " and " the arm-chair politician," and, backed by the 
National Liberal Federation, the central convention of the 
Caucuses, he developed, in a series of speeches marked by 
increasing mastery of language and vigour of thought, the 
practical application of his " ransom " and " restitution " doc- 
trines. His campaign, including a raid into Scotland, where 
he threw himself, at Glasgow, into the heart of the crofters' 
agitation, spread alarm among the Moderate Liberals ; and he 
took a still more imprudent step at Bradford by putting for- 


ward the demand for disestablishmeiit. A very large pro- 
portion of the Liberal candidates, under pressure from the 
Liberation Society, gave more or less explicit pledges to vote 
against the connection of Church and State ; and other ex- 
treme proposals embodied in The Radical Programme, a work 
recommended by Mr. Chamberlain and circulated by the 
National Liberal Federation, were adopted in as reckless a 

It was time for Mr. Gladstone to intervene. Returning 
with reinvigorated health from a sea trip to Norway, he issued 
a long letter to his constituents, in which he traced the outlines 
of a modest and almost colourless policy, involving no issues 
likely to divide Liberals, and marking out a scheme of almost 
non-contentious legislation for the next Parliament. Local 
self-government. Parliamentary procedure, the cheapening of 
land transfer, the simplification of registration were not 
questions with which the Conservatives could be pronounced 
either unwilling or unable to deal. Mr. Gladstone's treatment 
of the more drastic projects of the Radicals was eminently 
opportunist. He threw cold water on the free education 
scheme, pointed out the objections to graduated taxation, 
hinted at the difficulties in the way of abolishing the House 
of Lords, and, looking on disestablishment as a remote issue, 
refused to speculate on "the dim and distant courses of the 

This manifesto failed to produce the effect intended. The 
divisions in the Liberal ranks were no longer to be glossed 
over. Lord Hartington laboured industriously to show that 
Mr. Gladstone's "four points" afforded ample ground on 
which to fight, and objected to have " measures of a Socialistic 
tendency" grafted on the old Liberal creed. Lord Rosebery 
besought all Liberals to unite " under Mr. Gladstone's umbrella." 
But the task of defending sound Liberal principles fell mainly 
on Mr. Goschen, who was opposed as a candidate for the Eastern 
Division of Edinburgh by an avowed adherent of Mr. Cham- 
berlain and nominee of the Caucus. Both in Scotland and in 
England, Mr. Goschen, while maintaining his position as a Liberal 
and not concealing his distrust of Lord Salisbury, exposed, 
in a series of powerful speeches, the economical and political 
vices of what had come to be known as Mr. Chamberlain's 
"unauthorised programme." The latter did not decline the 


conflict. He held up Mr. Goschen to ridicule as " the Egyptian 
skeleton " of the Liberal party, and insisted on his schemes of 
graduated taxation, free education, and the provision of land 
for allotments by local elected bodies, declaring that since the 
old economic system had failed to abolish poverty, its advocates 
were bound to " stand aside " while other methods got a trial. 
It was noted by those skilled in political meteorology that Sir 
William Harcourt conspicuously attached himself to Mr. 

In the meantime the Conservatives were not idle. Lord 
Randolph Churchill, who had measured himself against Mr. 
Bright as candidate in the Central Division of Birmingham, 
entered on a vigorous campaign, chiefly selecting Mr. Chamber- 
lain's policy for attack, but also recalling to the memory of 
the people with considerable effect the miscarriages of Mr. 
Gladstone's Government in dealing with foreign affairs. Lord 
Salisbury, soon after Mr. Gladstone's manifesto appeared, took 
the opportunity at Newport of defining his own position, 
analysing the disagreements in the Liberal camp, showing how 
he had been able to conduct the business of the country suc- 
cessfully at home and abroad, declaring his readiness to bring 
in well-considered measures of reform in relation to local 
government and land transfer, but announcing the intention 
of the Conservative party to resist to the utmost the threatened 
assault on the Church. 

Both Lord Salisbury and Lord Randolph Churchill invited 
the co-operation of the Moderate Liberals in withstanding the 
destructive schemes of Radicalism. Their invitations were 
repelled by Lord Hartington and by Mr. Goschen, partly on 
the ground of their attitude towards the Parnellites, but still 
more on account of their coquetry with the so-called fair trade 
policy. The Royal Commission over which Lord Iddesleigh 
presided did little to realise the hopes fostered among the 
ignorant when its appointment was announced in Parliament. 
With very few exceptions Liberals and professed economists 
refused to take part in its proceedings, while the Chambers of 
Commerce and other bodies representing English business men 
in many cases met its " fishing " inquiries with a snub. 

The Irish difficulty was no longer to be concealed or evaded. 
Lord Salisbury and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach strove to make 
out that the state of the country under Lord Carnarvon con- 



trasted favourably with the results of Lord Spencer's rule, but 
the logic of facts became too strong for them, and extorted the 
declaration that if the ordinary law were found to be inadequate 
the Government would appeal to Parliament for exceptional 
powers. The despotism of the National League, carried out by 
a stringent system of boycotting, was openly enforced, with the 
double object of reducing the value of land by " freeing the 
peasant from the fetters of rent" and of compelling the 
Loyalists to submission in view of the coming elections. 
Isolated and ineffectual attempts were made to set bounds to 
this tyranny by prosecutions and exacting securities for good 
behaviour, but with the prospect of trial before sympathetic 
juries this expedient was of no avail. As was foreseen when 
the Crimes Act was dropped, advantage was taken of the 
agricultural depression to demand a general reduction of rents, 
including those fixed by the Land Courts, and boycotting 
was reinforced by outrages, which even the influence of the 
Separatist leaders was unable to prevent. An attack on Mr. 
Hussey's house near Killarney was followed by the murder, 
near Listowel, of a farmer named Curtin, who had bravely 
resisted a " moonlighters' " raid for arms. 

Mr. Parnell's organs urged on the landlords and the Loyalists 
the necessity of submission ; tempting them with the lure of 
an abolition of mortgages and other charges, but the bait did 
not take. The Cork Defence Union, in which the victims of 
boycotting, landlords and tenants, combined to protect them- 
selves, arranged to send cattle direct to English markets by 
the Cork Steamship Company, which was at once boycotted by 
the Cattle Dealers' Association. The refusal of the company 
to break the law by declining to ship the Defence Union's cattle 
has been punished, with the approval and aid of the National 
League, by an effort to divert trade to other channels. An 
organisation, the " Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union," sinking 
party distinctions of Whig and Tory, was formed, though 
without any hope of success, to contest seats in Munster, 
Leinster, and Connaught against the Parnellite candidates, who 
had expected a " walk over." 

Mr. Parnell, drawing encouragement not only from the 
timidity of Lord Carnarvon's administration, but from advances 
on the other side — Mr. Chamberlain's offer of a system of 
National Councils, Mr. Childers' proposal to hand over the 


police in Ireland to local elected boards, and Sir Charles Dilke's 
scheme of local government starting with the revival of the 
open vestry — reaffirmed his original position, refusing even to 
modify the claim of an Irish Legislature to impose protective 
duties, which had shocked English Kadicalism. Anticipating 
his return to Westminster with from eighty to ninety followers, 
he announced that he would not allow any Government to 
carry on public business until it had dealt with the Irish 
demand, and this challenge was at once taken up by Mr. 
Gladstone in his first Midlothian speech, when he appealed to 
the country to give him an overwhelming Liberal majority, so 
that he might maintain the unity of the Empire against its 
avowed enemies. 

This important declaration, according precedence to the 
Irish question, diminished the importance of the Hawarden 
manifesto, and, though Lord Hartington, Mr. Goschen, and 
Mr. Gladstone himself attempted to show that the "four 
points " only were before the country, the area of controversy 
was irresistibly widened. Mr. Chamberlain, in his address to 
the electors of the Western Division of Birmingham, omitted, 
significantly, to mention Mr. Gladstone's manifesto, or even 
his name. The alarm taken by the friends of the Church at 
Mr. Chamberlain's Bradford speech, the boasts of the Libera- 
tion Society, and the issue of the *' Radical Programme " with 
the authority of the Radical leader and of the National Liberal 
Federation gave prominence to the disestablishment question, 
and elicited a remarkable protest, insisting on the urgency of 
Church Defence, which was signed by many Whig Peers and 
many other eminent Liberals, including the Dukes of West- 
minster and Bedford, Lord Selborne, Lord Grey, Lord Fitz- 
william. Lord Fortescue, Lord Penzance, Lord Ebury, and 
Mr. Thomas Hughes. Mr. Gladstone, Lord Hartington, Lord 
Granville, and Lord Derby assured Liberal Churchmen that 
there was no immediate wish to raise the question, and even 
Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. John Morley, and the leaders of the 
Liberationists were eager to make known that its postponement 
was deemed expedient. 

But no assurances were forthcoming going beyond the term 
of the new Parliament, which, in the opinion of experts on 
both sides, was likely to be a short one. Mr. Gladstone 
personally found the question complicated with the question of 


disestablishment in Scotland, which had been more vigorously 
pushed, having to deal, on the one hand, with the active 
abolitionists, and, on the other, with a strong and determined 
body of Liberals attached to the Kirk, regarded as it was by 
them as one of the great historic conquests of Liberalism. Mr. 
Gladstone, followed in this by Lord Eosebery, Mr. Goschen, 
and others, could only promise to comply with the deliberate 
expression of the will of Scotland, which he refused to find in 
the present election, though, at the last moment, he made an 
impassioned appeal to Scotch Liberals not to divide the party 
on such an issue. 

Mr. Gladstone's Midlothian speeches, and the Parnellite 
manifesto to the Irish electors in Great Britain calling on them 
to support the Conservative candidates against the Liberals, 
except in a few specially reserved cases, closed the campaign. 
Parliament was dissolved by proclamation on the 18th of 
November, and the contested borough elections began on the 
24th. They showed throughout remarkable gains for the Con- 
servatives. In the metropolitan boroughs twenty-five Liberals 
were returned against thirty-seven Conservatives ; in Liverpool 
the return was eight Conservatives and one Nationalist ; in 
Manchester, five Conservatives and one Liberal ; in Leeds, three 
Conservatives and two Liberals ; in Sheffield, three Con- 
servatives and two Liberals. Birmingham remained faithful 
to the Liberal cause, sending to Parliament seven Liberals, 
though Lord Kandolph Churchill, who was afterwards returned 
for South Paddington, ran Mr. Bright close, and the total 
Conservative poll showed an enormous increase on 1880. 

In the towns of the second rank the Liberals did better, 
but even there they hardly held their own, and in the smaller 
boroughs they were routed. Scotland and Wales redressed 
the balance, though the Conservative minorities exhibited an 
ominous increase. Glasgow sent seven Liberals to Parliament, 
but the aggregate Conservative vote was 26,000 against a 
Liberal vote of 32,000, while in Edinburgh, though four 
Liberals were returned, Mr. Goschen and Sir George Harrison 
defeated the nominees of the Caucus. The earliest county elec- 
tions seemed to show that the new electors were going the same 
way ; after three days' polling the Conservatives had gained thirty- 
nine seats and the Liberals thirty-three. The agricultural con- 
stituencies, however, had been attracted by Mr. Chamberlain's 


" ransom " doctrine, which obtained popular currency as " three 
acres and a cow," and except around London and in Lancashire 
the counties in the main returned Liberals, reversing the 
verdict of the urban voters, and giving Mr. Gladstone, with 
the aid of Scotland and Wales, a considerable majority over 
Lord Salisbury in Great Britain. 

Ireland remained to be taken into account ; the terrorism 
of the League suppressed freedom of speech and voting in the 
three southern provinces, where the Loyalist candidates, except 
in the city of Dublin, made no real fight. In Ulster the 
Conservatives secured all the seats that were not won by the 
Separatists, and not one Liberal was returned from the whole 
of Ireland. In the new House of Commons there will be 
333 Liberals, 251 Conservatives, and 86 Pamellites. Twelve 
members of Mr. Gladstone's Administration, including two of 
Cabinet rank, Mr. Childers and Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, were left 
out in the cold — a disaster without precedent — and four of 
Lord Salisbury's colleagues met with the same fate. 

Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Chamberlain, and Sir William Harcourt 
set at once about proving that the result of the elections was 
really a Liberal triumph, though it left the Liberals without 
a majority in the House of Commons. But the truth became 
apparent when, despite Mr. Gladstone's wrath at the supposed 
Tory-Pamellite alliance and his appeal for power to meet Mr. 
Parnell's tactics effectively, it was made known that he had 
determined to concede the principle of Home Rule. The 
"authenticity" of these rumours has been denied on Mr. 
Gladstone's behalf, but it is not doubted, nor has it been in 
fact disputed, that Mr. Gladstone would be willing to grant a 
Parliament to Ireland, subject to some formal guarantees. 
Lord Hartington has stated that no such scheme has been sub- 
mitted to him, and it may be inferred that he would not 
approve of anything so clearly contradictory of public pledges 
to which he has reaffirmed his adhesion. Mr. Forster and 
Mr. Goschen have in plain terms repudiated the policy of 
Home Rule. Even Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke 
have shown a significant reserve in treating proposals which 
have been sprung upon the country without notice, and were 
not before the electors during the recent contest. 

It is felt that if those who are now arguing in favour of 
turning the Liberal minority into a majority by a junction 


with the Parnellites had declared for an Irish Parliament 
before the elections, they would in all probability have been 
rejected. The attraction, however, of the Parnellite phalanx 
for politicians unfettered by scruples has been greatly increased, 
not only by the defeats of the Irish Loyalists, but by the 
alliance concluded between the Roman Catholic Church and 
the Separatists. The efforts made by the late Government, 
through Sir George Errington's influence at the Vatican, to 
prevent the appointment of Dr. Walsh, a pronounced Nationalist, 
as Archbishop of Dublin, were not successful, and Dr. Walsh 
has since placed the management of the Education question 
and other ecclesiastical interests in Mr. Parnell's hands, giving 
him in return all the support of the Church. 

It can hardly be doubted that the miscarriages of the 
Foreign and Colonial Offices under Mr. Gladstone contributed 
as largely to the Liberal disasters as the revolt against Mr. 
Chamberlain, the alarms of Churchmen, or the Irish vote. 
Early in the year a series of blundering controversies with 
Germany were brought to light in official publications abroad 
and at home, which showed a failure on Lord Granville's part 
to understand or to come to an understanding with Prince 
Bismarck on the ground of his new colonial policy. Having 
dallied with the Australian claims to New Guinea, Lord Derby 
and Lord Granville were " quite unprepared," as they naively 
admitted, for the German annexation of the north coast ; and 
the assumption of authority over the south coast did not 
satisfy the colonists, who considered themselves, according to 
our Melbourne correspondent, "deceived and betrayed." 

The same dawdling policy led to similar results in West 
and South Africa. After full notice on the German side and 
inexplicable delays on the English side, the acquisitions of 
German subjects near Angra Pequena and Wallfisch Bay were 
recognised, and German protection was solicited for British 
trade. In the Cameroons the same laches allowed Dr. Nachtigal 
to establish a German protectorate over the native chiefs, who 
had been eager to secure English protection. Fortunately, an 
actual collision was avoided, and public opinion compelled 
Lord Granville and Lord Derby to act with more promptitude 
and vigour, opportunely asserting our rights over St. Lucia 
Bay on the East and over the trade of the Niger on the West, 
and repelling dangerous pretensions to interference with 


Britisli commerce put forward at the Congo Conference at 
Berlin. The recognition of the Congo State, even with the 
possibility of a reversion to France, was not seriously contested. 

In Egypt the English power was sufficiently active, if 
activity only was desired, at the beginning of the year. Lord 
Wolseley's Expedition up the Nile for the relief of Khartoum 
had reached Korti, whence an advance across the desert to 
Metammeh and along the river to Abu Hamad and Berber was 
planned. Sir Herbert Stewart, making a gallant dash for the 
first of these objects, encountered the Mahdi's forces at Abu 
Klea, defeating and driving them back, though not without 
heavy loss, and then pushing forward to the river bank at 
Gubat, almost within striking distance of Khartoum. At Abu 
Kru, near Gubat, Sir Herbert Stewart again fought and con- 
quered, but his small force was weakened and he was himself 
wounded — as it turned out, mortally. Sir Charles Wilson, 
who took the command, was met by Gordon's steamers, which 
had come down the Nile to seek the long-expected aid ; after 
a short delay, which became the subject of an angry controversy, 
he proceeded to Khartoum by river, arriving on the 28th of 
January, when he found that the city had fallen two days 
before, that Gordon was probably dead — though the details of 
his death did not become known till later — and that the city 
was in the hands of the Mahdi. On Sir Charles Wilson's 
return his steamers met with disaster, but he was rescued, 
with conspicuous gallantry and resource, by Lord Charles 
Beresford, and reached Gubat in safety. 

Meanwhile General Earle's column had marched by the 
river route, defeating the Arabs in a brilliant engagement at 
Kirbekan, where General Earle lost his life, the command 
passing to General Brackenbury, who advanced steadily on 
Abu Hamad. But orders to retreat quickly brought back the 
troops on both lines. The instructions for concentration at 
Korti were accompanied with the announcement that in the 
autumn the Mahdi was to be " smashed " at Khartoum, that 
Dongola was to be held, and that General Graham, with 9000 
men, some Indian troops, and an Australian Contingent, was 
to grapple with Osman Digma on the Bed Sea coast, opening 
up the route from Suakin to Berber and laying down a railway. 
These operations were partially carried out at great cost ; railway 
plant was brought from England, a few miles of line were 


laid down, and General Graham's troops again proved their 
quality by repeatedly routing the Arabs, though the night 
attack on the zariba held by Sir John M'Neill's command showed 
a lack of vigilance too closely resembling the Isandlana disaster. 

The necessity of providing against an impending war with 
Kussia was put forward by the Government as the reason for a 
sudden change of plans. In April Lord Wolseley was in- 
formed that the policy of smashing the Mahdi at Khartoum 
had been abandoned, and that the British forces must be with- 
drawn to Wady Haifa, surrendering to the enemy even the faithful 
province of Dongola. To the remonstrances of Lord Wolseley 
against this course, backed on several points by Sir Evelyn 
Baring, Nubar Pasha, and General Stephenson, the Government 
turned a deaf ear. The Suakin railway was given up, and 
the material brought back to England ; while, following the 
precedent of 1884, the greater part of General Graham's force 
was withdrawn, a small garrison being left at the port. 

The danger of Arab aggression in these circumstances was 
sufficiently serious ; when the Conservatives came into power 
it was found that the civil population had been removed from 
Dongola to Lower Egypt, leaving neither stores nor supplies 
requisite for the maintenance of a permanent garrison. It 
was resolved, however, to hold the river as far as Akasheh, 
the present terminus of the Nile railway. The attitude of the 
Arabs was frequently threatening, though a respite was secured 
by the Mahdi's death, and Suakin was relieved from pressure 
by Osman Digma's ill -fortune in a campaign against the 
Abyssinian army, under Eas Alula, despatched to the rescue 
of the beleaguered Egyptians at Kassala. Towards the close of 
the year the British positions beyond Assouan were again 
attacked. General Stephenson hastened in person to the front 
with all the troops available, and on the last day but one of 
December gave battle to the Soudanese collected near Kosheh 
with complete success, occupying their entrenchments at 
Ginniss, and pursuing their retreat with his cavalry. It may 
be hoped that the security of Lower Egypt is thus assured. 

The relations of the British Government with Egypt were 
kept in a doubtful state by the financial difficulty and the 
interference of the Powers. Mr. Gladstone had induced Parlia- 
ment last spring to accept, as a matter of extreme urgency, 
the Convention agreed on with the Powers, by which the loan 


of £9,000,000 required for the payment of the Alexandria 
indemnities and the restoration of the equilibrium was to be 
issued under an international guarantee. But as soon as 
England had thus tied her hands, the European Governments 
seemed in no haste to take up their obligations. Some post- 
poned the matter indefinitely, others apparently thought of 
repudiating it altogether. Though in the Bosphore J^gyptien 
affair England and Egypt made amends handsomely to France 
for a technical error, the spirit of French policy remained as 
unfriendly as ever. When the change of Government took 
place, the delay in the issue of the loan had brought Egypt, 
after exhausting every temporary expedient, within sight of 
bankruptcy. Lord Salisbury was able to conciliate the good- 
will of the Powers, and, by making arrangements for placing 
the stock on the Continental as well as the London market, 
to expedite the issue of the loan and relieve the Egyptian 
Government from the most urgent demands. 

The objects of the special mission on which Sir Henry 
Dmmmond Wolff was despatched were not discussed in Parlia- 
ment, but it soon became evident that the measure was con- 
nected with the political rather than the financial situation. 
The co-operation of Turkey was needed to legitimatise and 
give a peculiar authority to the English position in Egypt, 
and, as the Sultan was eager to obtain a formal recognition of 
his rights, which, though never annulled, had been in fact set 
aside, an agreement did not seem impracticable. Sir Henry 
Wolff's diplomatic tact and his patience in dealing with 
Ottoman dilatoriness were powerfully aided by the reopening 
of the Bulgarian question, and were at length rewarded by the 
adoption of a Convention which practically gave England the 
right to control administration in Egypt with the Sultan's 
authority, which neither Mohamedan rebels nor obstructive 
officials would find it easy to withstand. Mukhtar Pasha has, 
after considerable delay, been sent from Constantinople as Sir 
Henry Wolff's colleague, and it is hoped that his influence may 
be employed to abate the troubles on the Soudan frontier. 
Unfortunately, Mr. Gladstone's Midlothian address embraced a 
pledge to put an end as soon as possible to the English occupa- 
tion, and this disturbing element has lost none of its gravity 
since the indecisive result of the general election. 

The Afghan controversy, which for a time overshadowed the 


Egyptian question, had scarcely become known to the public 
when Parliament met. The agreement between England and 
Russia for the delimitation of the frontier eastward from 
Sarakhs was suspended by the delay of General Zelenoy, the 
Russian Commissioner, in joining Sir Peter Lumsden and his 
staff, while the mission of M. Lessar to London, with a view to 
changing the basis of negotiation, the Russian claim to Penjdeh, 
and the advance of General Komaroff 's force to the very posi- 
tions in dispute, rapidly altered the relations of the two 
Powers. The visit of the Ameer Abdurrahman to Lord 
Dufferin, at Rawul Pindi, was looked on throughout Asia as a 
pledge that no more demands for doing right to the Afghans 
would be allowed " to lapse," but few were prepared for the 
Russian counter-move, General Komaroff's slaughter of the 
Afghan soldiery on the Kushk, and his clearing them out of 
the Penjdeh oasis. The indignation with which this outrage 
was received in the House of Commons, the appeal to the " sacred 
covenant," the vote of credit of £11,000,000, and the sudden de- 
scent to a proposal for arbitration on a point which few besides 
Mr. Gladstone regarded as of the smallest importance, made up 
one of the most painful chapters in the history of Parliament. 

But peace was not finally purchased by concession. The 
surrender of Penjdeh to Russia, which was justified by the 
Ameer's communications with Lord Dufferin, was ratified in 
consideration of the recognition of the right of the Afghans to 
possess the Zulfikar Pass. As soon as the arbitration was 
agreed on, the meaning of the other portion of the bargain 
began to be contested ; Russia, through M. Lessar, claimed to 
retain positions which would practically have given her the 
command of the pass, on the ground that they were necessary 
to secure her troops free passage and access to water within her 
new limits. Sir Peter Lumsden, whose recall from the Afghan 
border was interpreted abroad as a triumph for General 
Komaroff and was much criticised at home, had not disguised 
his disapproval of the manner in which the Penjdeh incident 
had been dealt with by Mr. Gladstone's Government, but his ad- 
vice was, nevertheless, taken on the Zulfikar question, which 
was known to be considered of vital importance by the Ameer 
and the Viceroy of India. 

It was decided by Lord Granville that the strict performance 
of the Russian engagement must be insisted upon, and, Russia 


still refusing to yield, the point remained unsettled when Lord 
Salisbury went to the Foreign Office. After some further 
fencing on the Eussian side, a modification of the boundary 
was suggested — with the approval of Lord Dufferin, Sir Peter 
Lumsden, and Sir West Ridgeway, the officer in charge of the 
frontier survey — which secured the Afghans the complete com- 
mand of the pass and its approaches, while giving the Russians 
the road at the foot of the hills. The arrangement has been 
accepted on both sides as final, and the work of delimitation is now 
being carried out, though, at the last moment, further disputes 
have arisen about the boundaries eastward. Even Mr. Gladstone 
has ceased to affect an interest in the Penjdeh arbitration, and 
the King of Denmark, the chosen umpire, has made award. 

It is not, however, questioned in India that Herat has been 
gravely endangered by the advance of the Russians on the Heri- 
rud and the Kushk. English influence and Afghan independ- 
ence alike received a heavy blow from General Komaroff on the 
30th of March. The Government of India hastened to make 
provision against the peril ; active preparations were undertaken 
for a movement in force on Candahar ; assurances of loyalty 
were given by all classes of the people, and the native Princes, 
Hindoo and Mussulman, promptly came forward with offers of 
aid in men and money. When the immediate risk of a rupture 
with Russia was removed, the need for permanent measures of 
precaution was recognised. The army was strengthened and 
the Quetta railway, which had been abandoned in 1881, was 
resumed and rapidly pushed forward. In the first place Lord 
Kimberley, and afterwards Lord Salisbury and Lord Randolph 
Churchill, with the concurrence of Mr. Gladstone himself, 
publicly declared that India could no longer trust to under- 
standings or even treaties on the Afghan frontier, but must be 
in a position to act at once, on the defensive or offensive, should 
danger threaten from the North- West. This policy has since 
been steadily pursued, and the appointment of Sir Frederick 
Roberts, in succession to Sir Donald Stewart, as Commander- 
in-Chief in India, has been welcomed as a proof that all that 
energy and skill can do to make the frontier safe and to keep 
disquieting elements at a distance will be done. 

The distractions of the Afghan trouble probably delayed the 
settlement of a long-standing account with the King of Burmah, 
whose half-crazy, half-drunken tyranny had been a scandal and 


a menace to his neighbours, and especially to British Burmah. 
The question assumed a more serious aspect, in view of the 
activity of the French on the other side of the Indo-Chinese 
Peninsula, when Thebaw's exactions and cruelties were compli- 
cated with an intrigue to secure to French speculators the 
control of the resources of the country. It was foreseen that 
this project, if allowed to succeed, would give opportunity for 
the intervention of France in territory lying between the 
frontiers of India and China, and would result, even if nothing 
worse happened, in the exclusion of British trade from Burmese, 
and, indeed, Chinese markets, the importance of which was 
shown to be fully realised in France by the report of a Com- 
mittee of the Chamber on the draft of a commercial treaty ob- 
tained by M. Haas, the French Consular Agent at Mandalay. 
A direct attack by Thebaw on the interests of British subjects 
in Burmah, invalidating the contract made with the Bombay 
Burmah Trading Company and imposing a ruinous fine, was 
clearly connected with a monopoly obtained by M. Haas for a 
French Syndicate, which the Government at Paris subsequently 
refused to support. 

Mr. Bernard, the Chief Commissioner of British Burmah, at 
once entered an energetic protest, and Lord Dufferin, to whom 
the decision in the matter was wisely left by the home Govern- 
ment, resolved to send an ultimatum to Mandalay, demanding 
the removal of the impediments to British trade and the ac- 
ceptance of a British Resident to direct and control Burmese 
policy. If no satisfactory answer was returned by a fixed date, 
an expedition organised under General Prendergast's command 
was to start at once, with orders to treat only in the capital. 
Thebaw at first attempted evasion, and then sent an insolent 
refusal to treat, relying on some vague hopes of European aid. 
While negotiations and preparations were proceeding, the ques- 
tion was much discussed at home and in India whether a pro- 
tectorate or annexation were the preferable course, for on all 
hands it was admitted that Burmah could no longer be allowed 
to be independent. Lord Ripon favoured the former alterna- 
tive, but the weight of authority was for the latter. The 
Viceroy and the Secretary of State kept their own counsel. 

General Prendergast's operations were completely successful 
After crossing the frontier at the appointed time, the flotilla 
advancing with the troops up the Irrawaddy met with some 


resistance at the Minhla forts, but the Burmese were easily 
overthrown and made no further stand. Thebaw's appeal for 
an armistice was refused till General Prendergast had entered 
Mandalay ; the Ava forts were surrendered and the capital was 
placed in the hands of the British. Thebaw's deposition was at 
once announced, and he was sent with his family to Madras. 
It was found that the threatened massacre of Europeans had 
not been generally carried out, though some employes of the 
Trading Company were murdered high up the river, but the 
civil administration of the country, disturbed by robber gangs 
and disbanded soldiers, presents many difficulties. 

The attention of Kussia has lately been diverted from the 
Afghan question, and the pressure on India has consequently 
been relieved by events in Eastern Europe. The main object 
of Prince Bismarck's Continental policy has been to maintain 
the alliance of the three Empires, and to this end he was 
willing to encourage, or at least not to discourage, Russian am- 
bitions in Asia. The bond appeared to be more closely drawn 
than ever after the meeting in the summer between the Austrian 
and Russian^ sovereigns at Kremsier, though differences between 
Vienna and Berlin on the tariff question and the expulsion of 
Poles, Russian and Austrian subjects, from the Eastern provinces 
of Prussia produced not a little tension. There had been signs 
of restlessness among the subjects of the Porte in Macedonia 
and Albania, and the Montenegro boundary was still unsettled, 
but few supposed that peace was in danger, or that the Treaty 
of Berlin was likely to be for the present disturbed. Suddenly 
Europe was startled by the news that a revolutionary move- 
ment had overthrown Gavril Pasha's Government at Philip- 
popolis, and that the union of Eastern Roumelia to Bulgaria, 
which the popular voice had decreed, had been accepted by 
Prince Alexander, who hastened from Sofia to take possession 
of his new province. 

The Porte, following the advice of the Ambassadors of the 
great Powers, determined not to act precipitately. At St. 
Petersburg and Berlin, as well as, after some hesitation, at 
Vienna, the coup d'etat was condemned ; but in England, 
France, and Italy general sympathy was felt, by Liberals and 
Conservatives alike, with a movement to which the political 
objections existing in 1878 had disappeared. Servia and 
Greece at once put forward a claim to be compensated for the 


disturbance of the equilibrium by the Bulgarian union, and it 
seemed that Macedonia was about to be attacked. The Turks, 
however, availed themselves of the delay and hesitation at 
Belgrade and Athens, and with more than usual promptitude 
brought up troops from Asia Minor in sufficient strength to 
give their enemies pause. The German, Austrian, and Russian 
Governments united in proposing a Conference of the great 
Powers at Constantinople to consider the situation with the 
object of restoring the status quo ante, in which, after some 
negotiation, England, France, and Italy agreed to take part. 
Lord Salisbury's frank declaration that no settlement could be 
regarded as permanent which sought to perpetuate the separa- 
tion of the two Bulgarian provinces against the will of the in- 
habitants was approved by English opinion and endorsed by 
his principal opponent. 

When the Conference met, it was found that no agreement 
on the basis of the status quo was possible ; and in Russia Lord 
Salisbury and Sir William White, our able representative, were 
violently assailed for obstructing the will of Europe, But 
events were working in favour of Lord Salisbury's policy. 
Servia, abandoning her pretensions to North- Western Macedonia, 
turned for compensation where, it was thought, less resistance 
could be offered, and menaced Bulgaria with attack, encouraged 
not only by Austrian patronage and assistance, but by the 
rancour exhibited in Russia, and to some extent in Germany, 
against Prince Alexander, whose deposition had been advocated 
in high quarters, and whom the Czar summarily deprived of 
his honorary rank in the Russian army. The pacific overtures 
of the Bulgarian Government were spurned, and King Milan 
declared war on his neighbour, anticipating an easy march to 
Sofia. At first the Servian successes seemed to confirm this 
confidence. The Widdin district was occupied, and an advance 
in three columns on Sofia was apparently irresistible, when 
Prince Alexander turned the tide of fortune by his spirit and 
generalship at Slivnitza, where the Servian centre was repulsed, 
and had to retreat with loss through the Dragoman Pass. This 
was followed up by other victories, the Bulgarians being roused 
to great enthusiasm, and showing excellent soldierly qualities. 
Prince Alexander crossed the Servian frontier, advancing on and 
capturing Pirot. The Bulgarian victories proved that it would 
neither be safe nor practicable to insist on restoring the status quo. 


The Conference, whicli had been adjourned during the clash 
of arms, was not resumed. A suspension of hostilities was en- 
forced by a threat of Austrian intervention, and, after some 
fencing with the inevitable, the Powers agreed that a settlement 
must be sought substantially on the basis of recognising Bul- 
garian unity. A Military Commission appointed by the Powers 
has arranged for the evacuation by the belligerents of Widdin 
on the one side and Pirot on the other, and for the continuation 
of the armistice till March. 

France, though she has lately supported the English policy, 
has not been an active factor in the Eastern question. Her 
schemes of colonial adventure have crippled her. M. Ferry's 
Government, though apparently without any competitors to 
dread, was undermined at the beginning of the year by public 
impatience at the desultory operations against China in Tonquin 
and Formosa, which, instead of terrifying the Chinese, incited 
them to renew the war. At the end of March a large Chinese 
army attacked and routed General Negrier, recapturing Lang- 
son, and compelling the French Commander-in-Chief to tele- 
graph urgently for reinforcements, with a not too confident 
hope that meanwhile he might be able to " hold the Delta." 

There was a furious explosion of popular wrath in Paris, and 
M. Ferry, applying to the Chamber for a vote of credit of 
200,000,000 of francs, was defeated by 308 votes against 161. 
His resignation was followed by an interregnum ; many proposed 
Ministerial combinations broke down, but at last M. Brisson, 
President of the Chamber, was able to form a Cabinet, with M. 
de Freycinet as Minister for Foreign Affairs. M. Ferry had 
already arranged the preliminaries of peace, though the fact 
was not known, and President Gr^vy concluded the business, 
which the Chinese had placed in the hands of Sir R. Hart, of 
the Imperial Customs, before the new Ministers entered on 
their duties. China recognised the protectorate claimed by 
France over Annam as well as the possession of Tonquin, but 
the practical difficulties were not removed ; the delimitation of 
the frontier has not yet been carried out, the Annamese are 
turbulent, native Christians have been massacred, and the 
" Black Flags " give the French incessant trouble even in the 
neighbourhood of the Delta. M. Ferry was not rehabilitated 
by the peace with China, though it saved him from the extinc- 
tion which is the usual fate of defeated Ministers in France. 


M. Brisson's Ministry has been cautious and uneventful 
The approach of the general election — the first under the re- 
vived scrutin de liste — paralysed political activity. The feud 
between the Opportunists and the Radicals grew more bitter 
as the campaign went on. M. Clemenceau accentuated his 
opinions, while the Ministerialists and M. Ferry raised their 
bids for the Radical vote. The Conservative instincts of the 
peasantry took alarm at undisguised attacks on religion and 
property, and the earlier elections showed a decided reaction, 
the Monarchists, united for belligerent purposes, carrying 187 
seats, and both sections of the Republicans only 136. Before 
the second ballots came on the Republicans waived their differ- 
ences and closed their ranks, securing a decisive victory. Still 
the new Chamber was composed of some 200 Conservatives, 230 
Opportunists, and 150 Radicals. M. Floquet, who had succeeded 
M. Brisson in the chair, was re-elected President. The majority 
have lately been busy invalidating the Conservative returns, 
and threatening all sorts of vengeance for the perversity of the 
voters. M. Ferry's colonial policy has been condemned beyond 
reprieve ; the demands of the Generals in Tonquin for reinforce- 
ments are impatiently received. 

In the course of the Parliamentary inquiry into the conduct 
of the war scandalous charges have been bandied about by 
ofl&cers of high rank, exceeding even the bluntness of the late 
Admiral Courbet's accusations against the Government, which 
played an important part in the election campaign. Two Com- 
mittees of the Chamber recently reported in favour of cutting 
down the Tonquin and Madagascar Credits, and of bringing the 
operations in both cases to an early close. The opportune news 
of a peace concluded with the Hovas on favourable terms saved 
the Government from defeat, and even the Tonquin Credits 
were voted, though by a bare majority. The expiration of M. 
Gravy's term as President rendered a Congress of both Chambers 
necessary to fill the vacancy. Though opposition was threatened 
and attempted, there was really no competitor in the field, and 
M. Gr^vy was re-elected by an overwhelming majority. M. 
Brisson, however, has tendered his resignation, and the im- 
mediate course of French politics remains far from clear. 

The colonial policy of Prince Bismarck has been more 
fortunate than that of M. Ferry, though it has involved trouble- 
some disputes, not only with England, but with Spain. The 




occupation of one of the Caroline Islands, near the Philippines, 
by Germany excited Spanish feeling to the pitch of madness. 
The Spanish claim to the islands was unsupported by recent 
possession, and had been contested by England as well as 
Germany. Prince Bismarck, however, had no wish to drive 
matters to extremity, seeing that King Alfonso was in the 
hands of politicians who, Liberals and Conservatives alike, had 
lost their heads. 

The same levity that had been displayed in the repudiation 
of the commercial understanding with this country was again 
shown, both by Senor Canovas and Senor Sagasta, when the 
masses needed firm guidance to save them from the miseries of 
an unequal war, while the King, though in rapidly failing 
health, exhibited as much coolness and courage as when he 
visited the victims of the cholera epidemic. Arbitration was 
suggested by Germany, and when Spanish heat cooled down 
the Pope was accepted by both parties as umpire. Though his 
decision was favourable to Spain, its announcement was scarcely 
noticed, for the death of the King, at the age of twenty-eight, 
leaving as his heir a daughter of five years old, under the regency 
of her mother, Queen Christina, once more seemed to imperil 
the fortunes of the Monarchy. A Liberal Cabinet was formed 
by Senor Sagasta, with General Jovellar as Minister of War, and 
strenuous efforts have been made to unite men of all parties in 
support of the throne. Don Carlos has appealed to the Re- 
actionists, and Senor Ruiz Zorrilla to the Revolutionists, but as 
yet without effect. 

Italy, by comparison with her neighbours, has enjoyed the 
happiness of having almost no history. The temptation of a 
colonial policy led the Italians into some rather spasmodic 
essays, encouraged by Mr. Gladstone, to establish themselves on 
the Red Sea coast, but the experiment has not been popular, 
and probably contributed to the check of the Depretis Cabinet, 
which was followed by resignation and reconstruction. In 
Denmark the constitutional tension between King and Parlia- 
ment has not been abated, and has led to some ominous 
outbreaks of violence. 

The United States have been tranquil during the year, and 
have felt something like a revival of commercial prosperity. 
The transfer of the Federal Government from the Republican 
to the Democratic party was quietly cairied out, and President 



Cleveland has fairly justified the hopes founded on his honesty 
of purpose and firmness. His Cabinet has proved a strong one ; 
Mr. Bayard, the Secretary of State, has shown conspicuous 
courage and dignity in the conduct of foreign aff'airs, especially 
in dealing with the protests of the American-Irish against inter- 
ference with the dynamite party and their schemes. The 
necessity for the intervention of the United States in Central 
America, where Guatemala under President Barrios had en- 
deavoured to coerce and annex Nicaragua, San Salvador, and 
Honduras, was demanded in the interests of the proposed Canal, 
but the necessity was averted by the defeat and death of 

On the whole, Mr. Cleveland's exercise of his patronage has 
been creditable ; removals from ofiice on political grounds have 
been few, and the spoils' system, much to the disgust of many 
Democrats, has been practically abandoned. Some changes 
have been inevitable, among them the resignation by Mr. 
Lowell of the London Mission, which has been felt with a sense 
of personal loss by great numbers of Englishmen, though his 
successor, Mr. Phelps, has already won esteem and confidence 
on his own account. 

The goodwill and the fairness of the American people were 
tested during the painful trial to which Canada was exposed in 
the spring, when Kiel, the pardoned author of the Eed Kiver 
rebellion, in suppressing which Lord Wolseley won his spurs, 
raised the half-breeds and the Indians in the North-West 
Territory against the Government. The unfortunate settlers, 
who were unable to escape in the rigorous winter weather, 
were given over to rapine, outrage, and massacre. The 
Dominion Ministry acted with promptitude and energy, and a 
considerable force was collected beyond Winnipeg under General 
Middleton, but operations were delayed by the snow and the 
spring floods, and Kiel, with his savage allies, seemed confident 
that the troops would be worn out and cut off in detail. 
General Middleton, however, was steadily successful ; Kiel 
and his half-breeds and desperate refugees from the States 
were beaten and finally captured, and the insurgent Indian 
chiefs submitted or were hunted down. Much excitement was 
caused among the French Canadians by the trial and conviction 
of Kiel, whose treason was blackened by complicity in acts of 
massacre. An appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy 


Council on technical grounds, and also alleging that Riel was 
of unsound mind, was rejected after a careful hearing, and the 
Dominion Government had the courage to carry out the 
sentence of death in spite of threats and violence in Montreal 
and other Lower Canadian towns. The turbulence of this 
part of the population was further shown when a serious 
outbreak of smallpox led to the enforcement of a com- 
pulsory vaccination law, Montreal being endangered by a 
serious of shameful riots, fomented, it was said, by French 

The vigour shown by the Canadians in grappling with the 
rebellion in the North- West has been matched in Australia by 
the spontaneous offers of assistance to the mother country 
during the Egyptian and Russian troubles. Though the New 
South Wales contingent was the only one which actually served 
with the colours, the Colonists have felt their own strength, 
and are to be reckoned with in the future by any enemy of the 
British Empire. On the other hand they are resolved not to 
tolerate such sloth or timidity at home as that which allowed 
Northern New Guinea to pass from under the control of 
England. The union for certain common objects of all the 
Australian Colonies under the Federation Act, passed at the 
close of last session, has been carried out, except that New 
South Wales, from a rooted jealousy of the influence of 
Victoria, still holds aloot The Federal Council, however, in 
which Victoria, South Australia, West Australia, Queensland, 
and Tasmania are now represented, will, at no distant day, 
embrace not only New South Wales, but New Zealand, and 
even in the meantime it will constitute a powerful representa- 
tion of colonial opinion and sentiment. 

The South African colonies, owing to differences of race and 
the difficulties of an urgent native question, are less rapidly 
advancing to union and independent energy. Imperial policy 
has wavered between relieving the colonists from responsibility 
by the exertion of the power of the Crown and yielding to the 
wishes of Colonial Legislatures. Sir Charles Warren's appoint- 
ment as Special Commissioner in Bechuanaland was an example 
of the former tendency, and his recall at the instance of Sir 
Hercules Robinson, acting in deference to the feeling of the 
majority at the Cape, was an example of the latter. The 
controversy between Sir Charles Warren and Mr. Mackenzie 


on the one side and the Cape Government and Mr. Rhodes on 
the other is complicated and obscure ; but it is clear that the 
sympathies of the Colony were to a large extent with the Boers, 
whose operations the Special Commissioner had endeavoured 
to restrain. Bechuanaland is now administered, under Sir 
Hercules Robinson, by Mr. Shippard, lately one of the judges 
at Cape Town, but it is doubtful whether the dangers arising 
from the Transvaal filibusters have been averted or only 

Among the social events of the year we have to mention 
the marriage of the Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of 
Battenberg and the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales 
to Ireland. 

The growth of the Imperial Federation movement, in which 
Mr. Forster and Lord Rosebery have taken a prominent part, 
is a fact of more than political importance. Less gratifying to 
those who believe in cautious and orderly progress is the 
appearance of Democratic Socialism of the Continental type in 
this country. The Dod Street demonstration and the Hyde 
Park protest against the action of the police and the magistrates 
were in themselves insignificant ; but, looked at in connection 
with the proceedings of the National party in Ireland and the 
crofters' agitation in Scotland, as well as some of the doctrines 
preached by politicians calling themselves Advanced Liberals, 
they portend the appearance of a new force in politics. Both 
in England and in America the sympathies of honest men have 
been alienated from the Revolutionary party by the persistent 
attempts of fanatical enemies of society to carry on a war of 
dynamite after the worst Nihilist examples. The reappearance 
of cholera in Europe contributed to the depression of the year 
abroad, while in this country perhaps it was of service by 
calling attention to the polluted state of the rivers near 
London. The issue of the general election was, in the opinion 
of some observers, foreshadowed by the success of the party 
in favour of voluntary schools, religious education, and 
economy in administering the rates at the School Board 
elections in the metropolis and some of the chief provincial 

Unusual interest was felt in the registration proceedings 
before the revising barristers under the Franchise Act and in 
the important appeals from those decisions. The intention of 


Parliament was in several cases frustrated by tlie interpretation 
of the law; the undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge 
were pronounced without hesitation to be disqualified ; and 
the service franchise was denied to large classes for whose 
benefit it was apparently intended. The Irish difficulty 
was exacerbated not only by agricultural distress, but by 
the lamentable failure of the Munster Bank, which gravely 
affected the credit of the farmers throughout the southern 

An unsavoury agitation, in which the Salvation Army joined 
with the purveyors of sensational news to bring home to the 
public the necessity for passing the Criminal Law Ajnendment 
Bill, inflicted serious mischief by drawing attention in the 
streets to descriptions of abominable immorality ; and some 
eminent persons, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
Cardinal Manning, the Bishop of London, and Mr. Samuel 
Morley, too easily gave credence to and vouched for the good 
faith of these culpable extravagances. It was afterwards 
proved, on the prosecution of Mr. Stead and his associates for 
the abduction of a girl, Eliza Armstrong, represented as having 
been sacrificed by her own mother to a vile traffic, that some 
of the most explicit statements relied on were in part fabri- 
cated by a disreputable woman and in part evolved from a 
morbid imagination. The punishment inflicted on the wrong- 
doers was not severe, but the exposure has practically put an 
end to a demoralising and disgusting controversy. 

The obituary of the year comprises an unusual number of 
distinguished names. The death of Gordon at Khartoum went 
straight to the heart of the English people, and with shame 
and indignation as well as unavailing sorrow his countrymen 
learned too late to feel that while he lived " one of Plutarch's 
men talked with us face to face." In this grievous and wasteful 
sacrifice were involved Colonel Burnaby, who fell at Abu Klea ; 
Sir Herbert Stewart, who died of his wounds after Abu Kru ; 
General Earle, who was slain in command of the river column ; 
many other officers of distinction, and some well-known news- 
paper correspondents. 

At home the country lost in Lord Cairns a lawyer and 
statesman of clear judgment and strong moral fibre whose 
counsels were grievously missed by his party, in Lord Shaftes- 
bury one who devoted to philanthropic causes throughout a 


long life powers that might have won him a high place in 
politics, in Lord Halifax a Whig veteran who played in his 
time a considerable rather than a conspicuous part in public 
affairs, and in Lord Houghton a genial and accomplished man 
of letters, perhaps more likely to be remembered as the friend 
and confidant of three generations of authors, artists, and 

Among others who have passed away must be mentioned 
the Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland ; Dr. Fraser, 
Bishop of Manchester, a prelate whose large -mindedness and 
lofty character gave him far more than an ecclesiastical in- 
fluence ; Dr. Moberly, Bishop of Salisbury ; Dr. Jackson, 
Bishop of London ; Dr. Woodford, Bishop of Ely ; and Dr. 
Wordsworth, who not long before had retired from the See of 
Lincoln ; the Duke of Abercom, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland 
under Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli; the Duke of Somerset, 
a member of more than one Liberal Ministry; Sir Kobert 
Phillimore, long Judge of the Admiralty Court and Dean of 
Arches ; Lord O'Hagan, formerly Lord Chancellor of Ireland, 
and Sir Edward Sullivan, who held the Great Seal of Ireland 
when he died ; Cardinal MacCabe, Koman Catholic Archbishop 
of Dublin ; Lord Strathnairn, memorable in the annals of the 
army as Sir Hugh Rose ; Sir Harry Parkes, British Minister 
at Pekin ; Sir John Glover, Governor of Newfoundland ; Sir 
Peter Scratchley, High Commissioner in New Guinea; Sir 
James Hudson, a diplomatist to whom, as Cavour's faithful 
friend and fellow -worker, "United Italy" owes much; Sir 
Moses Montefiore, who passed away in his 101st year ; Sir 
Arthur Phayre, who for years governed British Burmah ; 
Lord Mayor Nottage, who died during his term of office ; Dr. 
Howson, Dean of Chester ; Dr. W. B. Carpenter, the physi- 
ologist ; Principal Shairp, a graceful poet and a delicate critic ; 
Dean Blakesley, perhaps most widely known by his contribu- 
tions to our columns under the signature of " A Hertfordshire 
Incumbent" ; Cluny Macpherson, one of the last survivors of 
the old race of Highland Chiefs ; Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 
of Wynnstay, the " King of Wales," whose traditional power 
has been shattered in Denbighshire, as the general election has 
shown, by the extension of the suffrage ; Mr. P. J. Smyth, an 
Irish " patriot " of a different metal from that coined at Mr. 
Parnell's mint ; Mr. Montagu Chambers, long a familiar figure 


in Parliament and at the Bar; Sir Julius Benedict, the 
composer ; Sir George Harrison, lately elected M.P. for 
Edinburgh ; Sir Kalph Gosset, till recently Serjeant-at-Arms ; 
Dr. Birch, the Egyptologist ; Mr. Ansdell, R.A. ; Professor 
Fleeming Jenkin, the electrician ; and Mr. Fargus, a novelist 
who had leaped to sudden fame under the pseudonym of 
" Hugh Conway." 

Abroad the list of public losses is as long and as striking. 
King Ferdinand, formerly Regent of Portugal, who had shown 
" the strong Coburg sense " in his public career, had retired for 
years before his death into complete privacy. 

In Spain the death of the young King Alfonso was im- 
mediately followed by that of Marshal Serrano, so intimately 
associated with the political changes which prepared the way 
for the Monarchical restoration, and not disconnected, it is 
believed, with the intrigues which seemed of late to threaten a 
reversal of that measure. 

France has lost in Victor Hugo a great, if an eccentric and 
intractable genius, much of whose work, though not all, the 
world will never let die ; and in Edmond About an admirable 
representative of the clear, incisive, limited intelligence, spark- 
ling with wit and equipped with a trenchant logic, which finds 
a place more easily in French literature than humour, pathos, 
or sublimity. Admiral Courbet was a victim of the ill-fated 
Tonquin policy of M. Ferry. The Com^die Frangaise was 
deprived in M. Perrin of an experienced director. 

Germany has mourned Prince Frederick Charles, the " Red 
Prince," the ablest soldier whom the martial House of Hohen- 
zollern has produced since Frederick the Great ; Field-Marshal 
Manteuffel, for many years Viceroy of Alsace-Loraine, another 
of the iron warriors who have built up the Empire ; and Dr. 
Nachtigal, the traveller, an energetic labourer for Prince 
Bismarck's colonial policy. 

In the United States the long struggle of General Grant 
with a cruelly painful and hopeless disease was watched with 
intense public sympathy, which, it may be said, extended all 
over the civilised world. When the end came, the short- 
comings of Grant's political career were buried in oblivion, 
and the nation only remembered his splendid services to the 
cause of the Union in the time of trial. The death of Vice- 
President Hendricks drew attention to a weak point in the 


Constitutional system ; those of General M'Clellan, formerly 
Commander of the Federal Army, and of Cardinal M'Closkey, 
the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, 
attracted less notice than that of Mr. William Vanderbilt, the 
millionaire and " Railway King." 


In the course of the year which closes to-day many remarkable 
events have happened in all parts of the world, but the most 
important among them belong to the history of our own country. 
Mr. Gladstone's alliance with Mr. Parnell was followed, as an 
inevitable consequence, by the disruption of the Liberal party, 
the disorganisation of Parliament, and a renewed appeal, after 
an interval of little more than half a year, to the constituencies. 
The decision of the country on the great issues raised by 
Mr. Gladstone was taken after a prolonged and searching con- 
troversy in Parliament and in the press, and it was unmistakably 

Setting aside the following of Mr. Parnell, the adherents of 
Mr. Gladstone are outnumbered in the present House of 
Commons by two to one, and, even reckoning the Gladstonian 
and Parnellite forces as a solid body, the majority of Unionists 
over Separatists is more than a hundred. Nor has there been 
hitherto the faintest sign of any change in the opinion of the 
nation. On the contrary, it is apparent that since his defeat at 
the last general election Mr. Gladstone's influence over public 
opinion has been fading away ; his erratic appeals to public 
opinion have only revealed more clearly to his countrymen his 
incapacity to enter into the sentiment and the character of 
Englishmen, his slavish subjection to Parnellism, and his 
readiness to evoke on his side all the disintegrating forces 
tm-oughout the United Kingdom, in Scotland and Wales as 
well as in Ireland, His adherents, are divided ; some want to 
press forward, some would like to hark back, and, between 
them, their overtures to the Liberal Unionists, which have 
been rendered completely illusory and illogical by the neces- 


sity for keeping Mr. Parnell in hand, have only resulted in 

This far-reaching and unexpected change in the state of 
political parties at home has profoundly affected the policy of 
the British Empire at home and abroad. The fear that the 
traditions of English statesmanship are destined to perish under 
the solvents of democratic impatience has to a large extent 
disappeared. At the same time there are new and most 
formidable difficulties to be confronted. The secession of Lord 
Randolph Churchill has weakened the Conservative Government 
at a most critical time, and it is highly improbable that the loss 
will be made good by a coalition with Lord Hartington and his 
followers. The state of Ireland has given cause for the gravest 
anxieties, and it still remains to be seen how far lawlessness 
will be successful in defying law. 

The diplomatic situation in Europe is shadowed with dark 
omens. It is doubtful whether the Powers which are on the 
side of peace and treaty rights will be able to set bounds to the 
ambition of Russia, and Germany appears to be paralysed in 
the fulfilment of her natural function by the dread of a Franco- 
Russian alliance. The most hopeful signs are to be looked for 
in the relations between this country and her great colonial 
dependencies, which seem to hold out a promise that the strength 
of the British Empire, offensive and defensive, may be immensely 
augmented in the near future. 

When the year opened the suspected, but as yet not proved, 
conversion of Mr. Gladstone to Home Rule was the theme of 
universal discussion. Early in the controversy, before it had 
yet passed into the Parliamentary phase, Sir James Stephen 
and Mr. Lecky attacked the Separatists in our columns, and 
doubting Liberals, uncertain how far Mr. Gladstone was pre- 
pared to go, avoided coming to close quarters. Many of them 
still clung to the conviction that their leader had no thought of 
deserting the cause of union and loyalty, and dismissed all 
disquieting rumours as inventions of the enemy. Others, 
better acquainted with the facts, maintained a discreet and 
watchful reserve. 

The Conservative Government, meanwhile, had begun to see 
that the contemptuous tolerance extended to them by the 
National League would be withdrawn the moment Mr. Glad- 
stone's alliance with Mr. Parnell was finally concluded. The 


terrorism exercised by the branches of the League had been 
allowed to consolidate and extend its operations during the 
preceding six months, and, though outrages had diminished, the 
boycotting system had grown more stringent and cruel. It was 
obviously necessary that an effort should be made to reassert 
the authority of the law. Lord Carnarvon's resignation of the 
Viceroyalty, which he had accepted on condition that it was to 
be only a temporary appointment, involved that of Sir William 
Hart-Dyke, but there were curious delays in disclosing the policy 
to be adopted in Ireland. The development of the Irish 
question in Parliament belongs to the history of the session, 
and has been already narrated. 

It is enough to observe here that the overthrow of Lord 
Salisbury's Government on a side issue, and the formation of 
Mr. Gladstone's third Cabinet, with Mr. Morley at the Irish 
Office, before the results of Mr. W. H. Smith's appointment as 
Chief Secretary were visible and the Ministerial Bill for 
strengthening the law in Ireland was produced, paved the way 
for a period during which "social order" was avowedly sub- 
ordinated to political changes, or at least declared to be only 
attainable through them. The effect was traceable in many 
directions — in the demoralisation of the magistracy and the 
police, the growing ascendency of the League, the excitement of 
the Protestants of Ulster, the depression of the Loyalists, the 
depreciation in the value not only of land but of every kind of 
property, including banks and railways. Nor was it until the 
constituencies pronounced emphatically against Mr. Gladstone 
that there were renewed signs of improvement. 

Before Lord Salisbury's resignation an appeal had been 
addressed to him for protection by the representatives of all the 
great interests connected with Ireland — commercial, industrial, 
financial, and proprietary ; and when Mr. Gladstone entered 
upon office he had to deal with the same demand. He put it 
aside with a plea for " inquiry and examination," which would 
have been more satisfactory if it had been accompanied by a 
pledge that meanwhile "social order" would be maintained. 
The Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union furnished Mr. Gladstone 
with a statement of facts and authorities bearing on the question 
of government in Ireland, and set to work energetically to inform 
not only the Ministry, but the British public, through meetings, 
pamphlets, and other means, of the real state of the case. 


"While the Government scheme was ripening many amateur 
projects for dealing with the question were put forward by 
private persons and kept up a brisk critical discussion. In no 
plan suggested, whether by Radical politicians or philosophical 
speculators, was it shown that any adequate guarantee for the 
protection of the loyal minority in Ireland was possible, or that 
any sanction could be devised ensuring the fulfilment of the 
conditions of a federal pact by an Irish Government and Legis- 
lature. The controversy was marked as it went on by a series 
of secessions from the ranks of Mr. Gladstone's followers. The 
heads of the great Whig houses — the Grosvenors, the Russells, 
the Cavendishes, the Greys, the Fitzwilliams — declared against 
the disruption of the Empire and the surrender of property 
to be dealt with by the apostles of public plunder. Lord 
Hartington, Lord Selborne, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Derby, 
Lord Northbrook, Mr. Bright, Mr. Goschen, Sir Henry James, 
and Mr. Courtney stood conspicuously aloof from Mr. Gladstone's 
new combination with Mr. John Morley as his standard bearer 
and Mr. Parnell as his backer. It is true they reserved their 
judgment on plans not yet revealed and refused to join the 
Conservatives in attacking Mr. Gladstone before the production 
of his measures. But Lord Hartington, speaking early in 
March at the " Eighty Club," protested firmly, though temper- 
ately, against attempts to identify the Liberal party with the 
movements of Mr. Gladstone's mind, and indicated beyond doubt 
that proposals dangerous to Imperial unity would be resisted. 
His tone might have been more decided if Mr. Chamberlain 
and Mr. Trevelyan had not been still members of the Cabinet, 
for the former had pronounced against any concessions in the 
direction of autonomy which were not safeguarded by an eff'ective 
Imperial control, and the latter had declared the surrender of 
the Executive power to be wholly inadmissible. 

So matters stood when Mr. Gladstone's twin Bills were at 
last laid before the Cabinet. The retirement of Mr. Chamber- 
lain and Mr. Trevelyan proved that their conditions had not 
been satisfied, and Mr. Gladstone's speeches, illustrated by the 
text of the Bills and by the explanations of his retiring colleagues, 
completed the case against Home Rule. 

It is doubtful how far repeated delays in the production of 
the Bills, which were suspected of being intentional and were 
certainly provoking, told for or against the Government. Oti 


reviewing the situation during the Easter recess Mr. Gladstone 
found that he had arrayed against him the most eminent 
representatives, not only of rank, birth, landed property, and 
public service, but of all the great professions, of every intel- 
lectual movement, of literature, art, and science, of commerce, 
industry, and finance. Many of those who declared their 
sympathy with the Unionist cause had always been ranked as 
Liberals. Lord Tennyson, Lord Wolseley, Lord Bramwell, Sir 
James Stephen, Mr. Matthew Arnold, Mr. Goldwin Smith, Mr. 
Froude, Mr. Lecky, Professor Huxley, Professor Tyndall, Sir. F. 
Leighton, the Warden of Merton, Mr. Swinburne, the Roths- 
childs, the Barings were among those, with very many others, 
whom Mr. Gladstone included in the comprehensive indictment 
of his opponents which he sent forth from Hawarden just 
before the reassembling of Parliament. In this appeared all 
the characteristic marks of his Pamellite development, his con- 
tention that the issue lay between "the masses" and "the 
classes," his appeal to the most dangerous forms of democratic 
passion, his denunciation of the Union and of English statesmen 
who have supported it upon evidence with which, if it existed, 
he ought to have been familiar fifty years ago, and his endeavours 
to excite among the people of Great Britain the Separatist 
spirit he was labouring to satisfy in Ireland. 

Mr. Gladstone's Bills, his speeches, and his manifesto were 
subjected to a searching criticism, and when Parliament re- 
assembled it was clear that the Unionist cause had made great 
progress in the country. The movement may be said to have 
had its formal beginning in the great meeting at Her Majesty's 
Theatre, when Lord Hartingtoh, Mr. Goschen, Mr. Rylands, 
and Lord Fife appeared on the same platform with Lord 
Salisbury, Mr. W. H. Smith, and Mr. Plunket. Mr. Caine's 
election for Barrow as a Radical who refused to support Mr. 
Gladstone in destroying the supremacy of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment was followed up by other evidence that, even in the ranks 
of the most advanced Liberalism, the Unionist spirit was strong. 

Those, however, who accepted Lord Hartington's leadership 
were the first to organise themselves, and the Liberal Unionist 
Committee was originally drawn almost exclusively from this 
section, in which the most active of the younger members were 
Mr, Brand and Mr. Albert Grey. Mr. Chamberlain, who had 
as his lieutenants Mr. Jesse Collings and Mr. Caine, was not 


slow in taking example by his allies, and when the time came 
both sections were prepared to unite in opposing the Prime 
Minister's fatal policy not only in Parliament but before the 
country. For the Gladstonian measures the principal apologists 
were Mr. Morley and Lord Spencer. The Duke of Argyll, 
Lord Selborne, and Lord Northbrook rendered good service on 
the other side both with tongue and pen, but Lord Hartington 
and Mr. Goschen were the protagonists. Mr. Chamberlain met 
and argued down the Birmingham Caucus, and Mr. Bright in 
two or three outspoken letters affirmed that he would never 
consent to place Ireland in the hands of rebels and terrorists. 
The local wire-pullers, however, of the Liberal party, convinced 
of Mr. Gladstone's ascendency, declared, except in a very few 
cases, for the Ministerial policy, and to their pressure were 
certainly due the Parliamentary vicissitudes of the controversy, 
in which the public took little interest and which it did not 
clearly understand. The concessions held out to the Radical 
Unionists by Mr. Gladstone and the hesitation of some members 
in trouble about their seats left the result doubtful down almost 
to the moment of the final decision. 

The rejection of the Home Eule Bill by so large a majority 
as thirty encouraged the Unionist Opposition, and as soon as 
Parliament was dissolved the battle in the constituencies was 
begun with extraordinary vigour. The Government relied 
mainly on Mr. Gladstone's personal popularity and on Mr. 
Morley's appeals to the fears, the weariness, and the weakness 
of the electors. On the other side, the weight of varied 
authority counted for much, and the attempt to represent as a 
mere Tory attack a movement in which Mr. Bright, Lord 
Hartington, and Mr. Chamberlain took part recoiled upon its 
authors. One most potent factor in the formation of opinion 
was, no doubt, the dislike of the Land Purchase Bill — that is, 
of a measure for lending to a Home Eule Government in Dublin 
a vast sum, variously estimated at from £50,000,000 to 
£200,000,000, raised on the responsibility of the British tax- 
payers and secured only by the credit and good faith of an Irish 
Legislature ; though, as Mr. Chamberlain has said, there is no 
reluctance to employ the credit of the State for the settlement 
on just and reasonable terms of the Irish agrarian difficulty, if 
only the supremacy of the Imperial Government were maintained. 
But, broadly, the issue before the country was whether Ireland 


should be given up to the Irish Separatists, organised and 
subsidised by alien enemies, or whether the Union should be 

Mr. Gladstone, in his address to his constituents, tried to fix 
on the Conservatives and their Liberal Unionist allies the policy 
of unmitigated coercion, basing the charge on Lord Salisbury's 
assertion that Ireland needed most of all twenty years of 
resolute government, and, in his speeches in Midlothian, 
repeated Mr. Parnell's insinuation that the Conservative 
Government had held out to the latter the concession of Home 
Rule — a statement distinctly contradicted by the alleged 
negotiator. Lord Carnarvon. His real grievance, however, was 
the understanding arrived at between all sections of the 
Unionists — Tory, Whig, and Radical — to fight shoulder to 
shoulder, and, with one or two insignificant exceptions, faith- 
fully observed by all. Though attacked, of course, energetically 
by the Conservatives, and especially with deplorable violence 
and lack of taste by Lord Randolph Churchill in his Padding- 
ton address, Mr. Gladstone directed his most strenuous efforts, 
personally or by delegation, against the Liberal Unionists, 
assailing Mr. Goschen in Edinburgh, sending out his emissaries 
against Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain, and angrily 
controverting Mr. Bright's damaging exposure of the incon- 
sistency, recklessness, and blundering of the Home Rule volte- 

The Unionists held their ground manfully. Lord Harting- 
ton and Mr. Chamberlain not only fought out the question in 
their own constituencies, but carried the war into the enemy's 
country ; Mr. Goschen and Mr. Trevelyan, who had become by 
his father's death Sir George, struggled against the Gladstone 
worship of the Scottish democracy ; and Mr. Rylands, Mr. 
Caine, Mr. Brand, Mr. Albert Grey, and many others played 
their part with varying fortunes, but always with dignity and 
public spirit. Mr. Parnell and several of his followers came 
forward to aid the Gladstonian cause on English platforms, but 
it is certain that their intervention was more damaging than 
helpful, nor was Cardinal Manning's maladroit advocacy more 

The Government were defeated on the 8th of June, and 
before the close of the month Parliament was dissolved, the new 
elections being completed soon after the middle of July. The 


campaign was thus short and sharp, but the prolonged contro- 
versy in and out of Parliament on the single issue presented 
for decision had precluded the possibility of a surprise. In a 
great number of constituencies the sitting members held their 
seats without a contest ; in England most of these were 
Conservative and in Ireland Parnellites. 

The Unionists started with a majority which the polling in 
the English boroughs greatly increased, in spite of the Parnellite 
boast, greedily swallowed by Mr. Gladstone, that the Irish vote 
could secure 40 or 50 seats. The prospects of the Separatists 
were not much improved by the contests in the English counties, 
for, though the North-Eastern region from the Humber to the 
Tweed followed Mr. Gladstone, the Parnellite alliance was 
almost everywhere else decisively rejected — in the Eastern 
Counties, in Lancashire, in the West Country, and, above all, 
in the Home Counties from Hampshire to Essex and from 
Oxfordshire to Kent. In the metropolitan district 49 Con- 
servatives and 2 Liberal Unionists were returned against 11 
Gladstonians, and, taking England as a whole, the division of 
parties was shown to be 284 Conservatives, 54 Liberal Unionists, 
126 Gladstonians, and 1 Parnellite. The Separatists looked to 
the outlying countries to make up for the defection of England ; 
but even here the Unionist cause was by no means unrepresented. 
In Scotland Mr. Gladstone's personal influence secured the 
return of 43 Separatists against 12 Conservatives and 17 
Liberal Unionists ; in Wales the return of 23 Separatists 
against 4 Conservatives and 3 Liberal Unionists. The Par- 
nellites carried 85 seats in Ireland (to which they subsequently 
added one by a successful petition against Mr. C. Lewis in 
Derry), the Conservatives 16, and the Liberal Unionists 2. 

The new House of Commons, therefore, consisted of 316 
Conservatives, 76 Liberal Unionists, 192 Gladstonians, and 86 
Parnellites. The rejection of Mr. Goschen, Sir George Trevelyan, 
Mr. Brand, Mr. Albert Grey, and other Unionist Liberals was 
lamentable ; but, on the other hand, great triumphs had been 
achieved ; the Unionists elected all the seven members for 
Birmingham, including Mr. Henry Matthews, a Tory Democrat 
and Koman Catholic ; in Glasgow a Conservative obtained a 
seat ; three Conservatives were returned for Salford ; and even 
in Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds the transfer of the Irish 
vote only caused a loss of four seats. The Conservative leaders 


were generally returned by great majorities, Sir Matthew Ridley 
being almost alone in his ill-success, subsequently repaired by 
his election to succeed Sir Frederick Stanley in the Blackpool 
Division. The absence of Mr. Ai-ch, Mr. Leicester, and Mr. 
Thorold Rogers was not regretted by those solicitous for the 
traditional character of Parliament. Sir Charles Dilke's defeat 
in Chelsea was partly due to other than political reasons. In 
Ireland two conspicuous Parnellites — Mr. Healy and Mr. 
William O'Brien — who had held seats in Ulster, were thrown 
out by the rising tide of Protestant and Unionist feeling in the 
North ; but Mr. Sexton secured a seat in the Western Division 
of Belfast, where the Catholic population is chiefly congregated. 

The condition of Ireland, North and South, was the first 
problem which confronted Lord Salisbury when, on Mr. Glad- 
stone's prompt recognition of the verdict of the constituencies, 
he had once more to form a Cabinet. The situation was alarm- 
ing enough. Mr. Morley had predicted, and the spokesmen of 
the National League had threatened, that, if the Home Rule 
Bill were rejected, war would be declared on the British 
Government in Ireland ; and it was to be expected that an 
effort to make these menaces and prophecies come true would 
not be wanting. The League had already been preparing for 
action at the beginning of the year, but, in order to clear the 
way for the passing of Mr. Gladstone's scheme, the organisers 
exerted themselves, with considerable success, to restrain outrage 
and disorder, and even to facilitate, for the time, the fulfilment 
of contracts. The machinery of mischief, however, could not 
be easily checked. Agrarian crime harassed Kerry and the 
adjacent parts of Cork, Clare, and Limerick, and in other 
districts attempts to obtain payment of rent by eviction, even 
when several years' arrears were due, were forcibly resisted or 
cruelly avenged. 

The truce, so far as it was carried into effect, originated 
partly in the desire of the League not to interfere with the 
prospects of Mr. Gladstone's measures, and partly in the 
paralysing fear which fell upon the landlords when it seemed 
probable that they would be handed over to the mercies of a 
Home Rule Government. Moreover, Mr. Morley's well-known 
opinions and his language about evictions, accentuated by Sir 
Robert Hamilton's position at the Castle, contributed to damp 
the zeal of the magistracy and the constabulary in carrying 


out the law. The Under Secretary was in direct and constant 
communication with those responsible for the peace of the 
country, and the fact that, though a permanent official, he 
had been publicly referred to again and again as an authority 
on the side of Home Rule could not fail to affect those under 
his orders. 

In the North passions were still more inflamed. Un- 
fortunately, the Protestant population, resolved not to be 
handed over to the rule of the League, had caught fire at the 
threats of the Parnellites that the police would be used to coerce 
the opponents of Home Rule. The Ulster Liberals had to the 
last refused to believe that Mr. Gladstone contemplated the 
betrayal of the loyal province, but the discussions on the Bill 
finally undeceived them, and almost all the Protestants, with 
many of the better order of Roman Catholics, ranged themselves 
thenceforward side by side with the Conservatives. In February 
Lord Randolph Churchill had visited Belfast to assure the 
Ulstermen of the sympathy of their fellow - citizens in Great 
Britain, and had used language hypothetically justifying resist- 
ance to a Government dominated by the League. On this 
ground a far-fetched and uncandid criticism held him responsible 
for the lamentable riots of the summer, but several months of 
quietude intervened. 

It was not until the very crisis of the Parliamentary struggle 
that the rival mobs, Protestant and Catholic, of Belfast, long 
notorious for violence and faction, broke out, after mutual 
provocations, into conflicts almost approaching civil war. On 
6th June the first street battle took place, but the Protestants 
soon obtained the upper hand, and thenceforward, excited by a 
deplorable and unfounded prejudice, they turned their obstinate 
fury against the constabulary. The rioting and the attacks on the 
police were repeatedly renewed during July ; and when Lord 
Salisbury's Government came into otiice they had to deal with 
a serious menace to order and property in Belfast. There could 
be little doubt that the responsibility mainly rested on the 
Protestant workmen, especially the shipwrights ; but it is also 
clear that the local magistracy were weak and vacillating, that 
the police were not at first discreetly managed and sometimes 
got out of hand, and that the military might have been 
employed with good effect before the disorder reached its 


Lord Salisbury, on being called in by the Queen and requested 
to form a Government, took counsel in the first instance with 
the leaders of the Liberal Unionists. The negotiations were 
brief, for it was found that, though there were no great 
dividing questions, a coalition was, for the moment, impossible. 
Owing mainly to the repugnance of his followers to enter into 
a Government with the Conservatives, Lord Hartington felt 
himself compelled to decline Lord Salisbury's magnanimous 
offer to serve in a Ministry under him. The new Administra- 
tion was, therefore, exclusively Conservative. 

A meeting of the party was held a few days before the 
meeting of Parliament at the Carlton Club, at which Lord 
Salisbury's action was approved. Lord Randolph Churchill 
became Chancellor of the Exchequer with the leadership of the 
House of Commons, Lord Iddesleigh Foreign Secretary, and Sir 
Michael Hicks-Beach Irish Secretary. More surprising was the 
appointment of Mr. Matthews, the Conservative member for 
Birmingham, to the Home Office. Mr. Matthews' re-election 
was challenged by his former opponent, Mr. Alderman Cook, 
and, in spite of the renewed pledges of support given to the 
Government at a meeting of Liberal Unionists of both sections 
at Devonshire House, it seemed, for a while, that the Unionist 
alliance was in peril ; but, when it became clear to Mr. Cook 
that the Radical Unionists in Birmingham would not support 
him till he had thoroughly purged himself of his Gladstonian- 
ism, he retired, rather ungraciously, from the field, and the 
Home Secretary was returned unopposed, as were all the other 
Ministers, except Mr. Ritchie, President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board, who defeated his rash opponent in the Tower 
Hamlets by nearly two to one. 

The Separatist faction in Ireland made Lord Aberdeen's 
departure from Dublin the pretext for a theatrical demonstration 
of confidence in the Gladstonian party, but, in spite of the 
organised enthusiasm of Irish mobs, there was no disposition 
among the Parnellites to wait upon the restoration of Mr. 
Gladstone's fallen fortunes. If they had been so inclined, they 
were warned from the other side of the Atlantic that they 
were expected to keep in touch with their paymasters. The 
Chicago Convention, convened by the National League in 
the United States, at which the representatives of the most 
violent Irish -American revolutionists welcomed and dictated 


a policy to Mr. Davitt, Mr. O'Brien, and Mr. Redmond, 
announced before Mr. Parnell opened his parallels in the 
debate on the Address the objects and methods of the coming 

While the Parnellites had been backing Mr. Gladstone, and 
accordingly sustaining his contention that the Land Purchase 
Bill provided ample security for the advance of many millions 
by the Imperial Government, no attack had been made on 
judicial tenancies in Ireland, which, indeed, the Bill treated as 
unalterable. As soon, however, as Lord Salisbury came into 
ofl&ce a loud outcry was raised against what were called " im- 
possible rents," and a revision of the rental fixed by the Land 
Court was demanded on the ground of a fall in agricultural 
prices. This move, which was obviously designed, according 
to the Chicago programme, to provoke a "rent war," was 
openly aided or covertly encouraged by the Gladstonians ; and 
the defeat of Mr. Parnell's Belief Bill was declared by the 
opponents of the Government to be the certain beginning of 
troubles in Ireland. 

At the outset these sinister predictions were not verified. 
The Government had begun by giving pledges of an energetic 
course of action which had an immediate effect in Ireland. 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach sent down the Inspector-General of 
Constabulary to Belfast with large reinforcements of soldiery as 
well as police, and though the rioting was renewed for some 
days, the spirit of disorder was finally got under. Mr. Morley, 
before his resignation, had appointed a Commission of Inquiry, 
which was enlarged and strengthened by his successor and 
placed under the presidency of Mr. Justice Day. At the same 
time other Commissions were announced — one to examine into 
the material resources of Ireland, and another, over which Lord 
Cowper was chosen to preside, to investigate the working of the 
Land Acts, and the obstacles to the payment of rents. 

The speeches of Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues in the 
debate on the Address, chiming in curiously with the orders of 
the Chicago Convention, were followed by Mr. Parnell's Bill, 
the defeat of which was assured by the support given by the 
Unionist Liberals to the Government, on the condition that the 
law would be firmly enforced and the obligation of contracts 
maintained. Nothing could be stronger than the language of 
Lord Randolph Churchill and the Chief Secretary on this point ; 



and the selection of Sir Redvers Buller to organise and in- 
vigorate the police in Kerry was accepted as a practical step 
towards the fulfilment of the pledge. The results were visible 
during September and the early part of October in the readiness 
shown by tenants in paying their rent, very often in full, and 
in the decline in numbers and influence of the League branches. 
The Government had exhorted the landlords to be considerate 
in the enforcement of their rights ; and, in almost all cases 
where cause was shown, and in many where there was little 
ground for indulgence, the advice was acted upon. The allega- 
tion that the fall in prices had made judicial rents impossible 
was refuted by the actual payments made. 

The leaders of the League were dismayed at the turn of 
aflFairs ; Mr. Parnell had absented himself from the field, and 
some of his leading followers were for a long time silent. Mr. 
Dillon, however, began, towards the close of October, to incite 
the tenantry to refuse to pay rent unless they obtained whole- 
sale reductions fixed by themselves, and a Plan of Campaign 
was preached, of which the point was that, in case of the land- 
lord's refusal to accept the tenants* terms, they should lodge the 
amount offered with so-called trustees, who were to spend it in 
supporting any farmers evicted in consequence of these measures. 
The tenantry were, apparently, in no hurry to adopt these 
hazardous tactics, and, if the belief that the Government would 
enforce the law rigorously had still prevailed, it is probable that 
the winter would have passed over quietly enough. 

Unluckily the impression got abroad that the Executive, not 
content with advising the landlords to forbearance, were exercis- 
ing a " dispensing power," through Sir Redvers Buller and other 
officers in similar positions ; and the peasantry were easily 
persuaded, when rumours to this effect remained for a long 
time uncontradicted, that, if the landlords refused the abate- 
ments demanded, they would not have the aid of the Executive 
in carrying out ejectments. Mr. Dillon's impunity in his open 
incitement to what Lord Salisbury afterwards described as 
" organised embezzlement " naturally fed the flame ; the Plan of 
Campaign was advocated week after week, with increasing 
audacity, in the Press and on the platform, and the populace 
were assured that the Government had neither the power nor 
the will to strike. The next step was to terrorise the jurors at 
the winter assizes by public meetings and denunciatory articles. 


Archbishop Walsh, in the name of his Church, blessed the 
banners of the campaigners. 

The removal of Sir Robert Hamilton from the Under- 
Secretaryship, by his promotion to the Governorship of Tasmania, 
was evidently necessary, since the popular belief in the weaken- 
ing of the magistracy and the police could not fail to be 
strengthened by the presence at the centre of affairs of a con- 
spicuous advocate of surrender to the League. The attempt of 
a few partisans to represent Sir Robert Hamilton's promotion 
as an infraction of the rights of permanent officials under the 
Crown was easily repelled by reference to the course taken 
by Mr. Gladstone in Sir Edward Wetherall's case. The 
Government intending to appoint a Parliamentary Under- 
Secretary as soon as the consent of Parliament could be 
obtained. Sir Robert Hamilton's post was only filled up ad 
interim^ and Sir Redvers Buller was selected to fill it. It was 
all the more to be regretted that the rumours as to the exercise 
of a dispensing power in enforcing judicial decrees were not 
more speedily confuted and any indiscretions of that sort 
sharply rebuked. The masses quickly arrived at the conclusion 
that the law could be set at nought by raising tumults and 
frightening the Executive, and the Plan of Campaign was 
preached with increasing vehemence by Mr. Dillon and others 
animated by the same spirit, and threats were openly held over 
the jurors at the coming winter assizes. 

The Government at length interfered. Mr. Dillon, after 
one of his most violent speeches, was brought before the Court 
of Queen's Bench and called upon to give security for good 
behaviour, and some meetings which were obviously intended 
to coerce the juries were proclaimed. The proceedings, how- 
ever, hung fire, and, meanwhile, Mr. Dillon repeated the offence, 
and was even outdone by Mr. O'Brien, while Archbishop Walsh 
reiterated his vindication of the Plan of Campaign and his 
denunciation of the jury system. The judgment on Mr. 
Dillon's case, exacting bail for £1000 from himself and two 
sureties, was of less importance than the distinct declaration of 
the judges that the Plan of Campaign was an illegal and 
criminal conspiracy. 

The Executive immediately acted on this authoritative 
interpretation of the law. The police made a descent upon the 
rent-receiving agitators at Loughrea, seized a part of the money 



paid over by the tenants, and summoned Mr. Dillon and several 
of his colleagues before the magistrates. This step, which 
alarmed the tenants, was followed up by a proclamation of 
the Lords Justices declaring the Plan of Campaign illegal and 
criminal, and threatening prosecutions against all concerned in 
it. Mr. Dillon and the other leaders of the League were, at 
the same time, cited to appear to answer a charge of conspiracy 
carried on in Dublin, of which the Plan of Campaign was the 
outcome. Proceedings in this matter are at present pending, 
but meanwhile Mr. Parnell, who has been ill, has reappeared 
in London, and has astonished the world by affirming that he 
knows nothing of the Plan of Campaign and suspends judgment 
upon it. His statement has been received with significantly 
cold silence by the agitators. The result is that, though the 
Plan is said to be worked surreptitiously, the tenantry are 
careful not to commit themselves to it until they see whether 
or not the law is to be reinforced. In this respect the proceed- 
ings at the Winter Assizes, where juries disagreed or acquitted 
in many cases where the presumption of guilt was strong, cannot 
be called encouraging. 

The open attacks of the party of disorder in Ireland on the 
institution of property and the authority of law produced a 
considerable effect upon English opinion, but not at all that 
which the Separatists had anticipated. They had hoped that 
the prospect of anarchy in Ireland would drive the Liberal 
Unionists, not into supporting stern measures for the suppression 
of outrage and fraud, but into making terms with the League 
on the basis of Mr. Gladstone's plan. Mr. Gladstone himself, 
since his overthrow at the elections, had done nothing to open 
the door for reconciliation, and while sometimes pleading 
vaguely for reunion he had always shown that the Liberal 
opponents of his Bill must come back, if at all, submitting 
themselves to the general principles of his policy and to the 
alliance with the Parnellites. Moreover, the pamphlet which 
he published when he started on a visit to Bavaria during the 
autumn session, and his speech when he received the depu- 
tation from the Irish Corporations at Hawarden soon after the 
prorogation, revealed his persistent brooding over his newly- 
developed ideas, over the iniquity of the Union, over the 
tendencies in favour of Separation, not in Ireland alone, but in 
England, Scotland, and Wales, and the impossibility of up- 


holding law and order among the Irish people except by 
surrender to the League. His colleagues generally followed 
his lead. Lord Spencer, Sir William Harcourt, and Mr. Morley 
invited the Liberal Unionists to return to their allegiance, 
mocked at the absurdity of maintaining the Unionist alliance 
in Parliament, and pointed with triumph to the difficulties of 
the Irish Government, but they said no word to repudiate the 
extravagances of Mr. Gladstone's latest theories or the conduct 
of his allies of the League. 

At a conference of Gladstonian caucuses held at Leeds the 
Home Rule flag was deliberately nailed to the mast, and, though 
Mr. Morley afterwards intimated that the details were open to 
discussion, it was clear that the central provisions in Mr. Glad- 
stone's Bill — establishing an Irish Parliament and an Irish 
Executive — would be retained, as, indeed, they must be, if the 
Parnellites were not to be cut loose. 

The historical arguments on which Mr. Gladstone so much 
relied had been completely demolished by Lord Brabourne, and 
the constitutional case against Home Rule was opportunely 
restated by Professor Dicey in a work of singular moderation, 
lucidity, and logical force. Public opinion was ripening for a 
vigorous protest, and the conference of the Liberal Unionists 
held in London on the 7 th Inst, displayed even a greater 
enthusiasm among the rank and file than among the leaders. 
The attitude of the leaders, however, was uncompromisingly 
firm. Lord Hartington, Lord Selborne, Lord Derby, Lord 
Northbrook, Mr. Goschen, Sir Henry James, Sir George Trevel- 
yan, and many others spoke out eloquently and manfully 
against the attempt to drag Liberalism through the mire at the 
tail of the National League. Even the mischiefs of the Home 
Rule policy to which the Gladstonians were committed excited 
less disgust than the tolerance of the tactics of spoliation in 
Ireland, which some Radical politicians openly favoured and 
from which others conveniently averted their eyes. This con- 
demnation was expressed with peculiar earnestness in a letter 
from Mr. Bright, and Lord Hartington's challenge to Mr. Glad- 
stone to declare whether he was on the side of the law or on 
that of the League was cheered to the echo. Some influential 
Gladstonians now began to protest that in supporting Home Rule 
they had no thought of abetting lawlessness and plunder, and 
the hardening of Conservative statesmanship, which was not a 


little needed, was observable, immediately after the Unionist 
gathering, in Lord Salisbury's speech in the City. 

Thus matters stood when the political world was convulsed 
by the unexpected news of Lord Randolph Churchill's resigna- 
tion. It was known that he and some of his colleagues were 
not agreed as to the details of the coming Local Government 
Bill, but that question had not been thoroughly discussed, and 
the ground which the Chancellor of the Exchequer chose for 
breaking up the Unionist Ministry was quite different. Aiming 
at a reduction of taxation to be disclosed in his budget, he 
refused, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to be responsible for 
raising the money required for the army and navy, though, 
it is understood, the estimates will show no extraordinary 

In the alarming state of Europe and the disturbed condition 
of Ireland, Lord Salisbury had no choice. He was bound to 
stand by what the War Office and the Admiralty declared to 
be indispensable, and Lord Randolph Churchill accordingly 
resigned. The loss of the Ministerial leader in the House of 
Commons threw public business out of gear and seriously 
weakened the Government. Lord Salisbury, therefore, turned 
once more to Lord Hartington and the Liberal Unionists and 
renewed the self-sacrificing offers he had made in the summer. 
A period of suspense followed, while Lord Hartington's return 
from Rome was awaited ; but the immediate formation of a 
Coalition Ministry was prevented by the protest of the Con- 
servative rank and file. The Ministry must therefore for the 
present be reconstructed on purely party lines. Lord Hartington 
continuing to support them from outside. 

The Irish controversy so completely overshadowed all other 
questions of domestic politics that the record of political events 
exclusively connected with Great Britain is somewhat meagre. 
The effect of agitation in Ireland was traceable, however, in 
Scotland and Wales, and even in England. The agrarian Mar- 
fare which had already broken out in the Highlands and Islands 
was carried on by fits and starts, and it was with difficulty that 
the police, sometimes aided by the military, maintained the 
authority of the law in Skye and elsewhere. The passing of 
the Crofters Bill in the earlier session of this year failed to 
satisfy a peasantry among whom extravagant hopes had been 
aroused. The law was forcibly resisted in Tiree, and resistance 


was justified by a certain number of Scotcb members in the 
House of Commons, who subsequently resumed the agitation 
out of doors, denouncing the conviction of the ringleaders in 
the disturbances, and proclaiming the destruction of landlordism 
as their object. 

Early in the year Mr. Davitt, in the interests of Irish 
Separatism, had begun to sow the seed of a land war in Wales, 
and his doctrines, though they made little way at the time, 
were soon fertilised by contact with the zeal of the Noncon- 
formist ministers for the overthrow of the Church and with the 
spirit of bastard nationality fostered by Mr. Gladstone. Out of 
these elements sprang the movement against tithes, which, 
originating in Denbighshire, spread to many other parts of 
the Principality, and, in a mitigated form, to some English 

In England, happily, disintegrating tendencies found little 
foothold. The agitations against the Church and the land- 
owners visibly lost ground, and the behaviour of Mr. Gladstone's 
Irish allies operated upon English Radicalism rather as a 
deterrent than as an incentive. Consequently, , the transfer of 
power from Mr. Gladstone to Lord Salisbury was regarded with 
equanimity by the people at large, especially when it was seen 
that the Unionist alliance had not only toned down the extreme 
opinions of its Liberal section, but had enlarged the narrow 
views of its Conservative section. 

Lord Randolph Churchill's speech at Dartford after the pro- 
rogation announced a policy of reform so comprehensive and 
progressive as almost to take the old Tories' breath away. 
Parliamentary procedure, local government and taxation, land 
transfer, the incidence of tithes, the provision of allotments, and 
half a dozen other subjects of great importance, were to be dealt 
with in a generous and enterprising spirit. The Gladstonians 
at once raised the cry that the Government were " stealing the 
brooms ready-made " ; but a more serious protest arose on the 
other side. Mr. Chaplin expressed the repugnance of a large 
section of the Conservatives to the proposal for closing debate 
by a bare majority of the House, which the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer apparently favoured. In one or two subsequent 
speeches the latter watered down in some degree the Radicalism 
of his other projects, but did not show any sign of yielding 
upon the closure. The Prime Minister and some of his 


colleagues spoke with more qualification and doubt, and among 
the Conservative rank and file there was much murmuring. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer excited not less discontent 
among the rear-guard of his party by his endeavours to establish 
his credit for economic orthodoxy, and to obliterate the memory 
of certain of his performances in Opposition. He dealt with 
finance in his recess speeches with almost rigid purism, and his 
refusal of the request of the Metropolitan Board of Works to 
assist in obtaining a renewal of the coal and wine dues was 
conceived quite in Mr. Gladstone's manner. But no one was 
prepared for the exaggerated assertion of the claims of retrench- 
ment, which, as we have said, he made the foundation of his 
quarrel with his colleagues and their estimates. 

The Postmaster-General, also pursuing a strictly economic 
policy, was exposed to sharp criticism when he terminated the 
contracts for the Atlantic mail service with the Cunard and 
White Star Lines, and introduced a more open system, giving a^ 
share of the business to the North German Lloyd's boats touch- 
ing at Southampton, and thus arousing the wrath of Liverpool 
and Ireland. 

For the rest, many burning questions were temporarily 
extinguished by the Royal Commissions appointed at the close 
of the autumn session. Lord Cowper and his colleagues were 
at work upon the Irish agrarian problem, and a smaller 
Commission had to deal with the development of the industrial 
resources of Ireland. To a third set of Commissioners was 
assigned the group of questions connected with the currency 
which had been forced upon the attention of the State by the 
fall in the value of silver, and to a fourth the organisation and 
working of the great spending departments. The condition of 
the army and navy, which Mr. Childers pronounced to be 
incomparable in January, was soon admitted to be, in respect 
of armament, mat^rielj and stores, very far from satisfactory. 
Bayonets and swords of soft metal and cheap German manu- 
facture, rifles and Catlings that "jammed" in action, and heavy 
ordnance subject to the risk of bursting from structural defects 
or careless handling did not show an efficient state of prepara- 
tion for war, and though Colonel Hope's charges of official 
corruption were not found to be based on any trustworthy or 
even tangible evidence, it was clear that a thorough overhauling 
of the departments was necessary. 


The gravest problems, however, of domestic politics, though 
not the most conspicuous, were those connected with the labour 
market and the revolutionary propaganda among the working 
classes. Throughout the year the cry of the unemployed was 
loudly heard, and it was turned to their own purposes by 
agitators imitating the Socialists and Anarchists of the Conti- 
nent, and encouraged by the menacing attacks on capital in 
France, Belgium, and the United States. The Social Demo- 
cratic Federation, a body headed by Mr. Hyndman and other 
notorious fanatics, assumed the right — which ought never to 
have been admitted, even by implication — of negotiating on 
equal terms with the police and the Government in the name 
of the unemployed. A demonstration organised by this body 
brought together in Trafalgar Square on the 8th of February a 
crowd of roughs and criminals, as well as some sincere believers 
in the saving virtues of spoliation and anarchy. 

The moment was well chosen for mischief. Lord Salisbury's 
Government had resigned and Mr. Gladstone's had nominally 
entered upon office, but Mr. Childers was not yet installed at 
the Home Office, and Sir Edmund Henderson, the Chief 
Commissioner of Police, either was ignorant of the danger or 
provided inadequately for meeting it. After inflammatory 
speeches from the leading agitators the excited mob was allowed 
to drift in a strong tide through Pall Mall and St. James's 
Street, smashing the windows of obnoxious clubs, and thence 
into Hyde Park and some of the principal streets of the West 
End, where jewellers' shops and others were looted, ladies and 
gentlemen hustled and robbed, and a panic created which lasted 
for many days. When at last the police were brought on the 
scene in force, they put an end easily enough to the rioting and 
plundering. Sir Edmund Henderson's resignation of his post 
was the natural result of the riots, of which the damage, under 
a special statute, was borne by the metropolitan ratepayers, and 
of the inquiries of a Committee appointed to investigate the 
affair, before which the Chief Commissioner appeared as a 
witness. Sir Charles Warren, distinguished for his services in 
South Africa, became Sir Edmund Henderson's successor, and 
had to carry out the changes in the organisation of the London 
police recommended by another Committee. 

A prosecution had been instituted, meanwhile, against the 
ringleaders of the Socialist agitation, but it was conducted in 


sucli a manner that the public believed the new Attorney- 
General, Sir Charles Russell, to be " riding for a fall," and were 
not astonished at the acquittal of the prisoners. The agitators 
at once renewed their attacks, and, as the winter approached, 
their declamation, backed by the sympathies of a good many 
soft-hearted and soft-headed people, was echoed by the demand 
" that something should be done," and various plans for relief 
funds and so forth were set on foot. Common sense, fortunately, 
entered an opportune and effectual protest against the cry for 
hasty and inconsiderate remedies for a grossly exaggerated 

The Socialists, however, were determined to thrust themselves 
forward as the champions of the poor, and, emulating the Irish 
agitators, whose success statesmen of Mr. Morley's school had 
recognised almost as the working of a law of nature, they coolly 
proposed to organise a procession in the streets concurrently 
with the Lord Mayor's Show on the 9th of November. Sir 
James Fraser, the City Commissioner of Police, condescended 
at first to argue with the faction of disorder, and to point out 
the dangers of a collision with the crowds of sightseers ; but the 
mischievous project, which reminded Londoners too forcibly of 
the riots of February, was not abandoned until it had been 
peremptorily forbidden. Then a demonstration in Trafalgar 
Square was planned, but was prohibited by Sir Charles Warren. 
A very strong force of police was assembled near the Square 
and the Household Cavalry were held in readiness for contin- 
gencies ; but though large crowds assembled, they were not 
allowed to come in contact with the civic procession. Some 
speeches were delivered at the foot of' Nelson's Column in 
defiance of the proclamation. The mob, however, including 
evidently many dangerous elements, was broken and scattered 
as it left the Square and was not permitted to move westward 
in threatening masses. This was the last serious attempt of 
the Socialists to coerce "the classes." A subsequent meeting 
in Hyde Park was a dismal failure and later threats have come 
to nothing. 

The effect of the Home Rule controversy was traceable in 
quite another direction, by way not of emulation, but of reaction. 
The movement in favour of drawing closer the bonds of union 
between the mother country and her dependencies beyond the 
seas made rapid strides forward from the region of theory into 


that of practice. The Imperial Federation League convened a 
very successful and enthusiastic conference soon after the meet- 
ing of Parliament, and though the projects debated were still 
somewhat vague, and agreement in matters of detail was 
judiciously left to be settled in the future, the discussion fixed 
public attention on questions too long ignored. The necessity 
of making better provision for the naval and military defence 
of the outlying portions of the Empire was no longer contested 
in principle, either in or out of Parliament, and Lord Granville 
himself was moved, at a banquet to Mr. Murray Smith, the 
retiring Agent-General of Victoria, to express his warm sympathy 
with Imperial unity. 

The progress of Imperialist ideas was quickened by the 
popular success of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition at South 
Kensington, which brought home to the minds of the masses 
the vast extent and the inexhaustible resources of the Empire. 
Complaint was made, however, that the Exhibition had been 
allowed to degenerate into a big showplace and miscellaneous 
garden party, and that the interests of the colonists had been 
in many respects neglected and set at nought. 3ut the central 
conception could not be wholly smothered by administrative 
blunders and the levity of pleasure-seekers, and the presence in 
London of a great number of distinguished public men from the 
colonies led to further and more important developments of a 
practical Imperialism. It was a happy thought to select as one 
of the achievements of the Queen's Jubilee year the foundation 
of an Imperial Institute permanently representing the interests 
of all the dependencies of the Crown and especially forwarding 
trade with the mother country. 

The risk, which at one time seemed rather serious, that this 
important movement, headed as it was by the Prince of Wales, 
would be perverted into a mere stereotyped copy of the South 
Kensington Show was happily averted by the intervention of 
public opinion. The report of the Committee appointed to 
frame a scheme is animated by a higher ideal. Another con- 
sequence of this stirring of the national mind was seen in the 
acceptance in principle by Ministers of the suggestion, put 
forward by the Imperial Federation League, that the colonies 
should be invited to confer, through their representatives, with 
the Home Government on the means of common defence, the 
mails, postal and telegraphic communications, and similar 


subjects. The Speech from the throne at the close of the 
second session of Parliament promised that negotiations would 
be opened up with the Colonial Governments, and the arrange- 
ments for the conference to be held in the spring have been 
lately made public. The movement for closer union has been 
obstructed by local jealousies. In Australia, where the colonies 
had been empowered by Imperial statute to form a loose federal 
union. New South Wales stood aloof from her neighbours ; and 
the other States, though entering cordially into the federal 
negotiations, were by no means satisfied with the action of the 
Home Government in restraining the advance of other European 
Powers in the New Hebrides and New Guinea. 

India, also, remained internally undisturbed. The long- 
protracted delimitation of the Afghan frontier from time to 
time revived alarmist speculations. Although its task was not 
absolutely completed, the Commission under Sir West Ridge way 
was withdrawn. The occupation of Burmah proved a more 
serious task than had been generally anticipated. On New 
Year's Day the annexation was formally proclaimed ; but our 
difficulties were only beginning when the British troops and the 
civil authorities were installed at Mandalay. The country was 
to be conquered in detail, and after twelve months of toil and 
struggle the work is not yet complete. Lord Dufferin himself 
visited Burmah in February, and it was hoped that the civil 
administration under Sir Charles Bernard and the military 
under General Prendergast would quickly restore order. 

The hope was not realised. Insurgent tribes and shadowy 
pretenders in the hills or swamps and on the frontier harassed 
the army, while the dacoits, or gang-robbers, swept the country 
wherever the troops were not in force, and even soared to the 
audacity of sacking and burning a part of Mandalay. Other 
calamities followed, of which the most serious was the inunda- 
tion of the city, involving much loss of life and property, by 
the bursting of a neglected embankment The situation was 
further complicated by the death of Sir Herbert Macpherson, 
who had taken command of the troops in Upper Burmah, and 
it was then determined that the Indian Commander-in-Chief, 
Sir Frederick Roberts, should be sent in person to strive to 
unravel the tangled web of brigandage, disaffection, and 
rebellion. The task has proceeded slowly, but already good 
progress has been made. 


Our relations with China, in this quarter, were regulated by 
a convention, concluded by Lord Rosebery just before he left 
the Foreign Office, which conceded two points to the Chinese 
Government. The recognition of formal suzerainty by the 
decennial mission to Pekin was continued, and the mission of 
Mr. Macaulay to Tibet, for which permission had been previously 
obtained, was abandoned. China, however, gave up her claim 
to Bhamo, and promised to open the trade with Yunnan, as 
well as, more vaguely, to take steps to promote the opening 
of the Tibetan trade with India. 

The restlessness of Russia and France has been an important 
factor in Chinese policy, though of late both Powers have been 
less active in the East. The settlement of the Tonquin frontier 
by the Delimitation Commissioners is proceeding slowly but 
steadily, and the enterprises of Russia in Corea have been so 
far laid aside that the British Government have considered it 
not imprudent to make arrangements for the surrender of Port 
Hamilton, acquired in the previous year, to the charge of the 
Chinese. The pretensions of France to a protectorate of the 
Roman Catholics in China led, in the case of the Peh-tang 
Cathedral, to direct negotiations between the Pekin Government 
and the Vatican and the practical exclusion of French influence 
from this branch of affairs. 

The governing fact in European politics during the year has 
been the restlessness of Russia and France. The possibility of 
an alliance between two ambitious and unsatisfied Powers was 
always present to Prince Bismarck's mind, and gave a bent to 
the policy of Germany, dragging Austria-Hungary along with 
her, which seemed ol^herwise unnatural and inexplicable. In 
Russia, so far as it was possible for the outer world to discover, 
the policy of the State was the creation of the perverse caprices 
of the Czar ; but in France weakness and levity at home, 
affecting all parties and the whole frame of government, pro- 
duced disquietude abroad. M. de Freycinet's return to office, 
after M. Gravy's re-election and the resignation of M. Brisson, 
was looked upon as an attempt to renew the politique de bascule^ 
but it soon appeared that this Ministry, like those which had 
gone before, would be compelled to pay a fatal tribute to the 
demands of the Extremists. M. de Freycinet came in with 
promises of retrenchment as well as reform and peace ; he was 
to abolish the floating debt, and yet add nothing to the funded 


debt, while General Boulanger and Admiral Aube were to 
reduce largely the cost of army and navy, though increasing 
the strength of France for offence and defence. 

Radicalism, however, was bent on other objects. M. Roche- 
fort's Amnesty Bill, indeed, fell through, as did the first pro- 
posal for the expulsion of the Princes ; but the Government 
were soon forced to enter on the same path. Meanwhile the 
attitude of Ministers towards the Anarchists and Communists 
was unpleasantly illustrated during the discussion on the alarm- 
ing labour conflicts of the winter and spring, especially the 
strike of the iron -miners against the Decazeville Company. 
Without apologising for such infamous crimes as the murder of 
M. Watrin the Government hinted their disapproval of the 
conduct of capitalists and their reluctance to use force for the 
vindication of law. At the same time, the protest addressed to 
the President by the Archbishop of Paris showed how deep was 
the irritation of all Roman Catholics at the petty persecutions 
identified with Republicanism. 

Pressed by M. Cl^menceau's rivalry in the Chamber and by 
the bullying of the Paris Radicals established at the H6tel de 
Ville, M. de Freycinet at length adopted the principle of the 
Expulsion proposal. The pretext chosen was that the Comte 
de Paris had held a gathering of his adherents on the occasion 
of his daughter's marriage, which was ridiculously described as 
evidence of an " occult " and " rival " Government casting its 
shadow over the Republic. The Bill, absurd and unjust as it 
was, passed without much difficulty, though both in the Chamber 
and the Senate the evils of such legislation were effectively 
exposed. All the heirs to the rights or claims of those who 
had reigned in France since the Revolution were driven into 
exile. The Comte de Paris quitted the country with calm 
dignity, while Prince Napoleon took the opportunity of firing 
a parting shot in a scathing review of Republican policy. The 
Due d'Aumale was the next victim. He had protested — no 
doubt, irregularly — in a letter to M. Gr^vy, against the treat- 
ment of officers of unpopular opinions by General Boulanger, 
the Minister of War, and the latter, in denouncing his censor, 
was so unlucky as to forget that he had placed on record his 
personal obligations to the Duke. 

General Boulanger's denial of his own handwriting did not, 
strange to say, interfere with the growth of his popularity 



among the masses. His boastful attitude, reproduced in 
caricature or eulogy in countless broadsheets, was taken as 
substantial proof that the French army was eager for war, and 
his hint that France was ready to resume the offensive was 
seriously discussed in every European capital. 

It was significant that an outcry was raised against England 
in the French Press, and that several causes of quarrel, great 
and small, were, on a sudden, brought prominently into view 
just at the moment when Russian projects in the Balkans were 
ripening. The alliance of Russia with France did not become 
a reality, and the French insistence on the evacuation of Egypt 
by England was left unsupported, while Germany had taken 
grave umbrage at the increase of the French army and the 
revived cry for the revanche. The debates on the Budget 
showed both vacillation of purpose and confusion of thought 
in the Government and the Chambers, and the state of things 
laid bare by M. Sadi-Carnot was sufficiently alarming to the 
tax -paying bourgeoisie and peasantry. M. de Freycinet's colonial 
policy was not more satisfactory than his finance and his 
European diplomacy. Tonquin, for which increasing credits 
were demanded, had developed only a trifling trade, and had 
cost the country the life of M. Paul Bert. The Madagascar 
Treaty, paraded a year before as a diplomatic triumph and a 
final settlement of a costly and protracted controversy, has 
turned out to be only a new subject of dispute, France re- 
pudiating the Appendix defining the terms of the main instru- 
ment and the Hova Government refusing to abandon that 
security for their reserved right of freedom from internal 

In these circumstances M. de Freycinet, not unnaturally, 
slipped out of office on an adverse resolution of the Chamber 
which was not meant as a vote of want of confidence. His 
successor was found in M. Goblet, one of the most colourless of 
his colleagues, who put together as best he could the fragments 
of M. de Freycinet's Cabinet, including General Boulanger, but 
was driven, after meeting with refusals in various quarters 
among tried statesmen and diplomatists, to bestow the portfolio 
of Foreign Affairs on M. Flourens, a respectable and obscure 
official of the Council of State. 

The ineptitude of French politics ought, it may be supposed, 
to have tranquillised Germany, but Prince Bismarck seems to 



have thought the numbers of the French array, the vapouring 
of General Boulanger, and the advances towards Russia more 
worthy of consideration than the intestine divisions, the financial 
embarrassments, and the unstable Government of France. 
German policy was obviously guided by a desire to prevent 
Russia from drawing nearer to France, and, doubtless for this 
reason, the two central Empires have allowed the Czar to go 
dangerously far in a course menacing to the peace of Europe 
and the objects of the Imperial alliance. 

The sullen resistance of Russia was the only obstacle to the 
settlement of the Bulgarian question after the defeat of the 
Servians and the suspension of hostilities ; but the opening 
year found that resistance unbroken, the Russian Government 
opposing the union of Bulgaria and Eastern Roumelia under 
Prince Alexander, and insisting on the restoration of the status 
quo ante according to the strict letter of the Berlin Treaty. 
This was seen by the other Powers to be impracticable, but it 
was still possible to obstruct the formation of a strong Bulgarian 
State, independent of Russian influences, by organised delays 
and by forcing the Prince into a position of ridiculous impotence. 
With this object the provision of the Treaty declaring that the 
Governor-General of Eastern Roumelia was to be nominated by 
the Porte, with the assent of the Powers, for five years, was 
enforced on the demand of Russia, and in spite of the remon- 
strances of England, Austria, and Italy. The Prince refused 
to acquiesce in conditions which made, and were intended to 
make, the union of the provinces a precarious one ; but ulti- 
mately the representatives of the Powers signed the agreement 
on this basis. 

Meanwhile, intrigues had been going on which threatened 
serious disturbances in Macedonia, and which it was feared 
might at any moment reopen the whole Eastern question. The 
Greek Government, under M. Delyannis, put forward a monstrous 
demand to be indemnified for the Bulgarian union, and that 
at the cost of Turkey. For some months Europe was kept in 
a ferment by preposterous pretensions and absurd armaments. 

In France alone did the Greeks meet with any encourage- 
ment, for even Philhellenic sentimentalism in this country 
promptly recognised the fact that M. Delyannis was playing 
with a match in a powder magazine. Before Lord Salisbury 
went out of ofiice Mr. Gladstone, in answer to an appeal from 


the Demarch of Athens, condemned the inopportune movements 
of Greek ambition, and when the Liberals came in Lord 
Kosebery's influence was exerted most strenuously — though not 
without opposition, it was believed, from Mr. Chamberlain, who 
had previously championed the Hellenic claims with more zeal 
than discretion — to put an end to a situation of grave peril. 
Turkey was compelled to guard her frontier against the Greek 
army which had been recklessly summoned to the field ; and 
a collision which would have set Macedonia, and indeed the 
whole Peninsula, in a flame, was averted only by extraordinary 
good fortune. Diplomacy moved slowly, and the tortuous 
policy of France multiplied delays, but at length the contumacious 
evasions of M. Delyannis drove the Powers to withdraw their 
Ministers from Athens and to send a squadron to blockade the 
Greek ports. M. Delyannis then resigned and left it to others 
to deal with the difficulties and the discredit in which his 
policy had involved his country. A Cabinet, formed by M. 
Tricoupis, took office to carry out disarmament, and not at all 
too soon ; for serious conflicts between Greek and Turkish troops 
occurred at the last moment in the borderland. 

This troubled state of affairs inevitably bred disquietude 
among the Bulgarians, nor was their alarm abated by the 
warlike manifesto of the Czar to the Black Sea fleet, and by 
the patriotic addresses of Kussian societies and municipalities 
reminding him of the national aspiration to plant the cross on 
St. Sophia. Among the Bulgarians and Eoumelians Eussian 
and Montenegrin emissaries were busy, urging that no real and 
lasting union could be hoped for till they were rid of Prince 
Alexander. Plots followed, of which the most alarming was 
detected and defeated at Bourgas in May, for overthrowing the 
Government and kidnapping and killing the Prince. These 
and similar events may be traced, according to a statement 
made some months later in the Hungarian Delegation by Count 
Eugen Zichy, to a secret treaty which was concluded in 
Montenegro during the summer of 1885, aiming at the removal 
of King Milan and Prince Alexander and the partition of the 
Balkan States among the family of Prince Nicholas and the 
Kara^eorgevitch Pretenders. 

The allegiance of the Bulgarians, however, was not shaken. 
The elections to the Sobranje in June showed a great National 
majority led by M. Karaveloff, while the Kussian party, under 


M. Zankoff, were completely outnumbered. The latter carried 
on the fight with the poisoned weapons of calumny, bribery, 
and intrigue, and with the aid of foreign gold they were able 
to bring over to their side a considerable number of oJ5icers and 
two or three regiments. While the menacing reserve of Kussia 
and the sinister activity of the Zankoffists depressed the spirit 
of the Bulgarians, the plot ripened. Europe was startled towards 
the close of August by the news that the Prince had been 
surrounded at night in his palace at Sofia by a body of bribed 
or disaffected troops, had been seized by a gang of violent 
oflicers, had been compelled to sign something purporting to be 
an abdication, and had been spirited secretly away to some un- 
known destination. It then became known that he had been 
put on board one of his own steamers, commanded by a Kussian 
ofl&cer, on the Danube, and carried straightway to Reni Eussi, 
in Bessarabia, where the Russian authorities declined either 
to keep him in custody or to allow him to cross the river to 
Roumanian territory. Orders presently arrived from St. Peters- 
burg that he was to be sent to Germany through Russia. He 
was exposed to insult on the way, but when he passed into 
Austrian territory was enthusiastically welcomed. At Lemberg 
the Prince learned by telegraph that the conspiracy at Sofia had 
collapsed, and set out at once on his return journey amid the 
congratulations of Poles, Roumanians, and Germans. Im- 
mediately after the capture of the Prince, Zankoff and the 
other plotters had proclaimed a provisional Government, 
audaciously joining the names of the leaders of the National 
party with their own. The people were perplexed and doubt- 
ful, but they were easily undeceived. Colonel Mutkuroff and 
the best part of the army declared against the conspirators, and, 
after a vain attempt of Zankoff, aided by his confidant, the 
Metropolitan Clement, to establish a thoroughly pro -Russian 
Government, they submitted or fled, and the Prince was once 
more proclaimed by the voice of the nation. His reception, on 
his return from Lemberg, was impressive and touching, but 
it was found that, if the masses and the soldiery were true, 
the officers and the clergy could not be trusted. After the 
failure of her partisans, Russia, it was clear, would work all 
the more by menace and intrigue to reverse the judgment of 

The Prince made a last appeal, humble and almost abject in 


its submissiveness, to the Czar, and the Czar replied in language 
at once insulting and implacable, intimating that he could not 
tolerate the conduct of the Bulgarian people in adhering to their 
legitimate ruler and chosen chief. Thereupon Prince Alexander 
formally signed his abdication and, committing his powers to 
the charge of a Regency consisting of the National leaders 
Stambouloff, Mutkuroff, and Karaveloff, he left the country 
amid the lamentations of his subjects. The Regents — of whom 
M. Karaveloff, generally suspected of complicity in the recent 
plots, afterwards ceased to be one — had no difficulty in restoring 
a fair measure of order, and the elections for a new Sobranje 
were quietly completed in spite of the most extraordinary 

General Kaulbars, the Russian Envoy, began a course of 
proceeding towards the Bulgarians to the like of which no 
independent community had been subjected in time of peace 
since the days of Napoleon. He threatened, scolded, presented 
dictatorial notes, insisted on the release of prisoners accused of 
treason and other crimes, and produced the universal impression 
that he desired to provoke the Bulgarians to some act of violence 
which would justify the interference of Russia. The Bulgarian 
Government acted with admirable prudence and firmness, and 
General Kaulbars succeeded only in moving sometimes the 
indignation and sometimes the laughter of Europe. At length 
he retired worsted from the field, and Russia, owing to diplo- 
matic pressure, was forced to content herself with opposing the 
election of Prince Waldemar of Denmark and of any other 
elegible candidate for the vacant Princedom. Her own candidate, 
a Prince of Mingrelia in the Caucasus, never received any 
support from the Bulgarians, whose Delegates have lately 
travelled around the European capitals to explain why they 
cannot accept as their ruler a subject and creature of the Czar. 
Yet the Russian veto has sufficed to extinguish the chances of 
Prince Ferdinand of Coburg, to whom the Delegates had made 
an informal offer, and the German Government, for reasons of 
its own, is apparently using its influence to induce the Bulgarians 
to make submission to Russia. 

The issue of the singular conflict carried on in Bulgaria was 
dependent on forces at work elsewhere. The arrogance of 
Russia and the fall of Prince Alexander were directly due to 
the cynical attitude of Germany and, in a less degree, of Austria- 


Hungary. In those countries the calculated and proclaimed 
indifference of the Governments to the politics of the Balkans 
was at first reflected by public opinion, but the outrage at Sofia, 
the pranks of General Kaulbars, and the imperious contempt of 
the Czar for the autonomy of Russia's former clients wrought 
a change. Pesth, Vienna, and Berlin in succession protested 
indignantly against conduct which was assumed to be sheltered 
by the Dreikaiserbund, and in Austria-Hungary it was openly 
argued that the German alliance was not enough to cover the 
cost of these humiliations and sacrifices. 

In England and in Italy the public were equally outspoken. 
To France Bulgarian liberties were as nothing compared with 
the chance of a good understanding with Russia. But Turkey 
was Russia's most serviceable tool, and Gadban Pasha, the 
Sultan's Envoy, was as active as General Kaulbars himself in 
striving to induce the Regency to make submission to the 
Czar. Throughout Europe, however, excluding France and 
Russia, not only was public opinion hotly indignant, but the 
most calculating of statesmen were becoming alive to the 
political dangers of the Czar's reckless career. Prince Bismarck 
had been willing to give Russia, to a great extent, a "free 
hand" in order to lessen the chances of a Russo- French 
alliance, but he had to face the question whether, even to 
secure this object, Germany could afford to be drawn apart 
from Austria. 

The Hungarians, first of all, and then the Austrian Germans, 
took alarm at the designs of Russia, now clearly revealed, and 
independent German opinion quickly became convinced that the 
two Empires could not be indifferent to Russian domination 
on the Lower Danube and in the Balkans. The semi-ofl&cial 
Press at Berlin, was even permitted to censure and satirise 
General Kaulbars. But the Governments were still silent. 
No voice of authority had been raised in Europe to protest 
publicly against the oppression of Bulgaria when Lord Salisbury 
spoke at the Guildhall on Lord Mayor's Day. His language, 
though temperate and reserved, was plain. A Russian occupation 
of Bulgaria, which the Czar's Government had disavowed, would 
not be endured ; but, though England would not take the 
initiative, which properly belonged to Austria, the Power 
immediately concerned, she would, if necessary, stand by 
Austria in defence of treaties and European freedom. Mr. 


Gladstone, at the same time, apologised, in his peculiar manner, 
for not intervening before in favour of Bulgaria, condemning 
not less distinctly than Lord Salisbury, though much less 
emphatically, the dictation of Russia and her agents. 

The meeting of the Hungarian and Austrian Delegations 
followed hard upon the Guildhall speech, and Count Kalnoky, 
pressed by Count Andrassy and Count Zichy, who made the 
statement already referred to regarding the Secret Partition 
Treaty, declared that Austria would not tolerate a Russian 
occupation of Bulgaria, and was confident that the logic of 
events must retain Germany as ultimate surety for Austrian 
interests in any possible struggle. The German Government 
maintained a significant silence, but Count Robilant, the 
Foreign Minister of Italy, declared in the most uncompromising 
language that his Government would uphold respect for treaties 
and would maintain and, if necessary, develop the understanding 
with Austria and England. General Kaulbars, meanwhile, 
had withdrawn with words of menace and insult judiciously 
ignored by the Bulgarians, who have managed to exist ever 
since without the light of the presence of Bussian Consular 
officials. If, however, the weight of German influence is to 
be thrown into the scale in favour of Russia, Austria and 
Bulgaria will be left to face a dangerous storm. Germany, it 
seems, is palsied with alarm at the near prospect of a desperate 
European struggle for mastery, and her tendencies towards the 
Russian alliance have been confirmed by the blow Lord 
Randolph Churchill has dealt at the stability of the English 

It is probable that the decided attitude of Italy was due, 
at least in part, to the bitterness which has grown up of late 
years between the Italians and the French. When France 
endeavoured to obtain Italian aid in forcing England out of 
Egypt, the recollection that France had accomplished in Tunis 
more than all that she charged England with plotting to 
accomplish on the Nile settled the matter so far as Italy was 
concerned. The criticisms of M. Waddington were met by 
Lord Salisbury and Lord Iddesleigh with the obvious answer 
that our occupation of Egypt would come to an end when the 
task we had undertaken was finished, when a stable and pros- 
perous Government was founded, and when neither anarchy 
nor foreign intervention was to be feared. 


The negotiations between Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and 
the Ottoman Commissioner, Mukhtar Pasha, were prolonged 
during the year without reaching a satisfactory conclusion. 
The demands at first put forward by Turkey for the control 
of the army were quite impracticable, looking at the fact that 
the Turks have always longed to regain their dominion in 
Egypt which Mehemet Ali overthrew. But the Porte, though 
admitting without protest Kussia's repudiation of the engage- 
ment to maintain Batoum as a free port, and interfering in 
Bulgarian affairs too obviously in the interests of Russia, took 
no serious measures to promote French policy in Egypt. It 
is believed that Her Majesty's Government have had to give a 
sharp warning of some sort to the Porte, and the Turkish war 
preparations are, therefore, the more disquieting. We may 
hope, nevertheless, that the Porte may be brought to see that 
on many points connected with Egyptian aflfairs the interests 
of Turkey and of England are closely connected, if not the 

The internal politics of the chief European States were 
largely influenced by the diplomatic situation. By far the 
most important event in Germany was the demand of the 
Government, towards the close of the year, for an addition, 
for a term of seven years, of more than 40,000 men to the 
army, which the Reichstag refused, in the first instance, to 
grant in full either as to numbers or time. The veteran 
Moltke intervened to support Prince Bismarck's policy, on the 
ground of its urgent and imperative necessity. The question 
was still unsettled when the Reichstag adjourned over Christmas. 
It is the more significant that the Government should thus 
propose an addition at once to the burden of military service 
and of Imperial taxation that already those burdens provoke 
not a little discontent. 

The Socialists, who have continued to trouble the repose 
both of Germany and Austria, and against whom both Empires 
have adopted stringent legislative measures, find their account 
in the murmurs of the masses. Nevertheless, neither in 
Germany nor in Austria has the labour question presented 
itself in a form so threatening as in the Latin countries. The 
strikes in France, to which reference has been made, were 
paralleled or outdone in Belgium, where Mons, Lidge, and 
Charleroi were terrorised by riotous bands of workmen, and 


aftei terrible destruction of property the disorders were only 
quelled by the vigorous exercise of military force. 

It is curious that Spain, the least settled of the Latin 
nations, and peculiarly exposed since the death of King 
Alfonso to revolutionary shocks, should have escaped disaster 
during a time of so much trial. The birth of the young King 
in May did much to consolidate the authority of the Regency 
under the Queen-mother, and the abortive attempts to change 
the Government by pronunciamientos at Cartagena early in the 
year and some months later at Madrid discredited the revolu- 
tionary factions and especially the adherents of Zorilla as 
much as they strengthened the Sagasta Ministry. 

In the United States the difl&culties from which so many 
old countries were suffering began to take a formidable shape. 
Strikes broke out in the winter among the colliers, the iron- 
workers, and the employes on the tramways and railways. The 
conflict assumed a more serious character from the intervention 
of a widely-spread organisation, the " Knights of Labour," who 
asserted the right to dictate terms everywhere to the masters. 
The attempts of the Socialists to get the labour movement into 
their hands were frustrated by the Chicago riots, in which the 
police were compelled to use firearms against a frantic mob, 
and order was with difficulty restored. The lesson was not 
thrown away, and when Most, the well-known firebrand, 
tried to provoke a rising of the unemployed in New York, 
he was at once arrested, condemned, and sentenced to im- 

The labour party kept themselves generally separate from 
the extreme Socialists, and in the autumn put forward Mr. 
Henry George, the author of Poverty and Progress and the 
economic parent of the Land League in Ireland, as candidate 
for the important office of Mayor of New York. The muni- 
cipality had been lately discredited by the discovery of 
scandalous frauds, and the " Fall " elections — which greatly re- 
duced the Democratic majority in Congress, and placed parties 
very nearly on a level — increased the chance of an outsider. 
Mr. George was defeated by Mr. Hewitt, an exceptionally good 
Democratic candidate ; but it is a striking fact that some 
67,000 votes were polled for the spokesman of such doctrines 
as his in the commercial capital of the New World. The 
Congressional elections were of little more than local import- 


ance, except that they seem for the present to have given the 
coup de grdce to free trade in the United States. The President's 
Message at the beginning of the December session is occupied 
mainly with questions of finance. A dispute with Mexico over 
what was known as the " Cutting Case " has been settled, but 
the Fisheries controversy with Canada and England has not 
yet been satisfactorily arranged. 

It is worth while to notice briefly the prevalence during the 
year of unpleasant cases in the law courts spun out to excessive 
length and given an injurious publicity. The divorce suit, 
" Crawford v. Crawford and Dilke," ended in a judgment for 
the petitioner, but not against the co-respondent, who declined 
to go into the witness-box. As hardly any one affected to 
think that Sir Charles Dilke's character had thus been cleared, 
the intervention of the Queen's Proctor was subsequently sought, 
but the original judgment, in spite of Sir Charles Dilke's 
evidence, was sustained. Not less painful was the prolonged 
litigation between Lord Colin Campbell and his wife, in which, 
after the most disgraceful accusations had been bandied about 
on both sides, the cross actions for divorce were dismissed, 
The action brought by Mr. Adams against his father-in-law. 
Lord Coleridge, involved a monstrous waste of public time. 
The conviction of Kichard Belt, the sculptor, on a charge of 
fraud, attracted much interest early in the year ; but a more 
sensational case — in which the present Solicitor-General, Sir 
Edward Clarke, raised his reputation as an advocate to the 
highest point — was the trial of Adelaide Bartlett for the 
murder of her husband, ending in her acquittal, in spite of 
the damaging evidence of Mr. Dyson, her alleged lover and 

The horrors of the destruction of Pompeii were almost 
renewed by the volcanic eruption in New Zealand, which 
swept away the renowned picturesque surroundings of the 
famous hot springs. Turning from the convulsions of nature 
to the achievements of man, we find that M. de Lesseps is 
hampered in his Panama Canal scheme by the same pecuniary 
difl&culties which on a much smaller scale have for a time put 
an end to the Manchester Ship Canal. In remarkable contrast 
with this attitude of capitalists was the extraordinary rush for 
shares in the brewing business of Messrs. Guinness in Dublin 
on its conversion into a limited liability company. Public 


interest has been vividly aroused by M. Pasteur's experimental 
treatment of hydrophobia by inoculation, on which the judgment 
of science is still suspended. Geographers, philanthropists, and 
politicians are at one in hoping that a successful effort may be 
made to rescue Gordon's gallant lieutenant, Emin Pasha, who 
is still holding out, with a scanty garrison and without news 
from the civilised world, against savage foes. 

The obituary of the year, though including many notable 
names, records few losses of the most serious kind. Mr. 
Forster, who died just when the Home Eule crisis was 
ripening, was a statesman opposed throughout a considerable 
part of his career to the most fatal aberrations of Mr. Gladstone's 
policy. His blunt, unadorned, but most impressive eloquence 
was missed, in spite of the abundance of oratory and reasoning 
on the Unionist side, when measures ruinous at once to England 
and to Ireland, as Mr. Forster was convinced, were brought 

Lord Cardwell, the last survivor of the legitimate Peelites, 
had outlived his reputation and his powers of active work, but 
his sound judgment and his administrative capacity had at an 
earlier day given him a high place among the colleagues of 
Lord Palmerston and Mr. Gladstone. Sir Erskine May, the 
highest authority in our time on the law of Parliament, was 
raised to the peerage, on his retirement from the Clerkship of 
the House of Commons, as Lord Farnborough, but died before 
he had taken his place in the Upper House. About the same 
time the House of Lords lost in Lord Redesdale an able and 
experienced, though an imperious and sometimes pedantic 
Chairman of Committees. 

Dr. Trench, formerly Dean of Westminster and Archbishop 
of Dublin ; Dr. Thompson, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge ; 
and Dr. Tulloch, Principal of St. Andrews University, were all 
men of mark in the academic and ecclesiastical world. 

Among other deaths must be mentioned those of Lord 
Monkswell, better known as Sir Robert Collier, an eminent 
judge and an excellent artist ; Mr. Ayrton, an able though 
unpopular member of Mr. Gladstone's first Administration ; 
Sir Charles Trevelyan, Lord Macaulay's brother-in-law, a dis- 
tinguished Indian civilian, and one of the authors of the com- 
petitive examination system ; Lord Waveney, who was one of 
the leaders of the Ulster Liberals in their revolt against Home 


Rule ; Lord Dalkeith, the heir of the dukedom of Buccleuch, 
cut off in his early promise by a lamentable accident while 
deer -stalking; Sir Douglas Forsyth, a high authority on the 
politics and geography of Central Asia; Sir Henry Taylor, a 
patriarch of English letters ; Sir Herbert Macpherson, who, 
after brilliant service in the Afghan and Egyptian campaigns, 
was in command of the forces in Burmah ; Mr. Justice Pearson, 
a sound Equity Judge ; Mr. Samuel Morley, Admiral Bedford 
Pim, and Mr. Duncan Maclaren, once familiar figures in the 
House of Commons ; Mr. Flowers, a most able police magistrate ; 
Mr. Barnes, the author of some delightful poems in the Dorset- 
shire dialect ; Mr. Bennett, of Frome, formerly of St. Barnabas, 
Pimlico, a leader in his day of the Ritualistic movement ; Mr. 
J. L. Hatton, the composer ; Mr. Caldecott, the artist ; and 
Fred. Archer, the most renowned of jockeys. 

France has lost in the Due Decazes an ex-Minister who was 
in his time a considerable personage in politics ; in the Comte 
de St. Vallier a skilful and trusty diplomatist ; in M. Paul 
Bert an eminent man of science, but less successful statesman, 
sacrificed to the pestilential climate of Tonquin; and in M. 
Gabriel Charmes an indefatigable critic of English policy in 

The lamentable death, by suicide, at Tegemsee, where he 
was secluded under medical care, of King Ludwig of Bavaria, 
followed almost immediately upon his deposition, only adopted 
under urgent necessity and after his mental alienation had 
been superabundantly proved. The illustrious names of Ranke 
and Scheffel will be missed from the roll of German men of 
letters. Count Beust had taken a leading part in the recon- 
struction of the Austrian polity, and Signor Minghetti had 
been one of the foremost statesmen of United Italy, but for 
some years they had ceased to be active political forces. Liszt, 
the most gifted and the most eccentric of musicians, passed 
away in the splendour of a revived fama Hobart Pasha, an 
English sailor of traditional enterprise and courage, was better 
known in the closing years of his energetic life as the organiser 
of the Turkish navy. 

The United States lost Mr. Arthur, who had succeeded to 
the Presidency on General Garfield's death, Mr. C. F. Adams, 
American Minister to this country during the Civil War, and 
Mr. Tilden, for a long time the leader of the Democratic party 


and candidate for the Presidency at the contested election of 

In India two great feudatory Princes, the Maharajah Scindia 
and the Maharajah Holkar, the rulers of the rival Mahratta 
States, Gwalior and Indore, were cut off, in middle life, about 
the same time. 


The year which comes to an end to-day, though not distin- 
guished by any events of firstrate importance either at home or 
abroad, will leave its mark in the national annals. It was, in 
the first place, signalised by the celebration, on a magnificent 
scale and with a matchless representation of all the constituent 
peoples and polities in the British Empire, of the Queen's 
Jubilee. The gloomiest of pessimists were compelled to 
admit that this spontaneous movement of loyalty, fortified by 
affectionate reverence for the person and the dignity of the 
Sovereign, afforded strong and most encouraging proof of the 
stability of monarchical institutions among the English race ; 
and the impression has been deepened by the troubles through 
which our nearest neighbours are passing. The splendid 
ceremony in Westminster Abbey, and the military and naval 
pageants which followed, may have been rivalled or surpassed in 
other countries, but the enormous concourse of people in the 
streets of London, the very eccentricities of ornament and 
illumination, and the presence of spokesmen for Her Majesty's 
faithful subjects from every quarter of the globe, made up a 
spectacle as imposing as it was unique. 

Nor was this solemn national thanksgiving for the un- 
paralleled progress of the Empire during the fifty years of the 
Queen's reign devoid of political results. The tendency to a 
closer union between the mother country and her daughter 
nations has been stimulated, and the loyal attachment of the 
feudatory Princes of India has been manifested by the example 
of the Nizam's munificent gift. The interest aroused by this 
interlude of sentiment in the midst of keen political struggles 
has been prolonged by popular sympathy with the Queen and 


her family in the sorrow that has fallen upon them through the 
grave illness of the Crown Prince of Germany, the husband of 
our own Princess Royal. 

The pleasant associations of the Jubilee year will not be 
poisoned by the memory of public misfortunes. In spite of an 
organised attempt to turn to political account the discontent of 
the unemployed, always numerous in so vast an agglomeration 
of human beings as London, it is certain that during the year 
the social condition of the United Kingdom has been steadily 
improving. There are some signs that the long depression 
from which commerce, industry, and agriculture have been 
suffering is yielding to more favourable influences, so far, at 
least, as traders and manufacturers are concerned. The farming 
interest is still overweighted by low prices and foreign com- 
petition, though the statements as to the amount of land that 
has gone out of cultivation have been shown to be exaggerated. 
The harvest, in spite of a prolonged drought, was fairly 
abundant, but the market values were unremunerative, while live 
stock suffered from scarcity of feed. Hence the revival of the 
fair trade agitation, which, under its new name of fiscal reform, 
was sprung upon the Convention of Conservative caucuses at 
Oxford, where Mr. Howard Vincent carried a resolution con- 
demning free imports by a large majority, though not without 
a protest. 

Mr. Chaplin, however, at a subsequent meeting of the 
Chamber of Agriculture, disavowed protectionist doctrines, and 
the impossibility of reconciling the demands of the farmers and 
of the manufacturers was tacitly acknowledged by the absence 
of almost all representative politicians from the meeting of 
fiscal reformers at St. James's Hall. The discontent among 
the commercial and industrial classes had abated as the 
prospects of trade improved. The Board of Trade returns, 
despite the perturbing eff'ect of European war scares, grew more 
and more encouraging, and the movement in the United States 
against excessive duties was accepted as a warning. Statesmen 
were the less disposed to trifle with the fair trade cry, because 
the state of public credit was so good as to bring the conversion 
of the national debt once more within the range of possibility, 
and the revenue was coming in satisfactorily. Liberals of all 
shades of opinion denounced a retrograde policy, the Con- 
servative leaders threw cold water on Mr. Howard Vincent's 


inopportune move, and the demand of the Convention, cleverly 
captured at Oxford, elicited no popular response. The 
Government have been happily able to strengthen a weak point 
in the free trade position by the conclusion of the Sugar 
Bounties Convention, binding the leading States of the civilised 
world to make a simultaneous effort to shake off the burden of 
the bounty system. 

It is largely due to the loyalty and steadiness with which 
the Unionist alliance was maintained during the year that 
Lord Hartington was able at a critical moment to protest 
decisively against any attempt to return to a protective system. 
The Separatists did not for a long time abandon the hope that 
the Liberal Unionists would be lured or driven back to the 
Gladstonian camp. They rejoiced over the difficulties in which 
Lord Salisbury's Government was plunged, as the year opened, by 
Lord Randolph Churchill's resignation ; they tried to find matter 
for consolation in the alleged ill-treatment of Lord Iddesleigh and 
the discontent of his friends, in Mr. Goschen's defeat at Liver- 
pool after his acceptance of office, and in the vacancy created by 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach's withdrawal from active political life 
on the eve of the introduction of the Crimes Bill. 

But these expectations were disappointed. The Government, 
with Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office, Mr. W. H. Smith as 
leader of the House of Commons, Mr. Goschen as Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, and Mr. Balfour as Irish Secretary, soon 
appeared to be stronger instead of weaker ; and, on all 
questions involving the maintenance of Ministers in power, the 
Liberal Unionists refused to give any vote that would have had 
the effect of reviving Mr. Gladstone's ill-omened Irish policy 
and restoring him to office. As this became clear, the 
Gladstonians adopted the tactics avowed from the first by the 
more unscrupulous of the Radicals and by the Parnellites, who 
declared that the Government should not be allowed either to 
administer or to legislate, and especially that measures for 
restoring the authority of law in Ireland must be prevented 
from passing. Obstruction, direct and indirect, was carried to 
lengths unheard of before, and the longest and most laborious 
Parliamentary session on record was saved from complete 
futility only by the repeated and rigorous application of the 

In Ireland, at the same time, the National League was 

VOL. II z 


working hard to make good its assertion that it could trample 
on the Queen's writ and defy the forces of the Crown. The 
Plan of Campaign was brought into operation over a large area, 
and not only against landlords whose conduct was open to 
severe criticism, such as Lord Clanricarde or Colonel O'Callaghan, 
but upon the Lansdowne and the Brooke estates, where the 
owners were liberal and the tenants well-to-do. Resistance by- 
organised mob violence to eviction and other forms of legal 
process was backed up by a systematic terrorism, by boycotting, 
and, when necessary to enforce the "unwritten law" by 
outrage. Mr. O'Brien's expedition to Canada to denounce Lord 
Lansdowne merely excited the contemptuous anger of the 
Canadians, and ended in dismal failure, while it helped to open 
the eyes of Englishmen to the real aims and methods of the 

Meanwhile the Separatists had another string to their bow. 
The "round table" negotiations, between Lord Herschell, Sir 
"William Harcourt, and Mr. Morley on one side, and Mr. 
Chamberlain and Sir George Trevelyan on the other, were 
intended to reconcile Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule policy with 
the views of the Liberal Unionists ; and, though Lord 
Hartington refused to commit himself beforehand, the Home 
Rulers were confident that the Liberals who had rejected the 
measures of 1886 would be satisfied with the assurance that the 
Bills were " dead." If Sir George Trevelyan already showed 
signs of weakness, Mr. Chamberlain was not likely to be 
contented with vague promises and undefined concessions on 
points of detail, so long as Mr. Gladstone held the ground he 
took up when he allied himself with the Parnellites. Mr. 
Chamberlain dwelt on this in some forcible speeches, insisting 
also on the impossibility of re-union while the Gladstonians en- 
couraged lawlessness in Ireland and obstruction in Parliament. 
Sir William Harcourt and his friends seized the opportunity to 
break off the negotiations, casting the blame of their failure on 
Mr. Chamberlain, and Mr. Gladstone attempted to put his 
formidable critic in the wrong by offering at Swansea to treat 
every point in his Home Rule scheme as open to discussion. 

The Liberal Unionists, however, were not satisfied with 
undefined concessions, which were still dominated by the 
paramount condition that the settlement should be satisfactory 
to the Parnellites. The conduct of the Gladstonians had 


shown that they could not be trusted without the most strin- 
gent guarantees. Not only had they abetted obstruction and 
tolerated rowdyism in Parliament, apologised for resistance to 
the law and defended the Plan of Campaign, but they had 
shown a cynical indifference to the close and continuing rela- 
tions, established in the Times, mainly on the unimpeachable 
evidence of Separatist writings and speeches in Ireland and the 
United States, between " Parnellism and Crime," and to the fact 
that their allies were, as they still are, drawing their pay from 
the Irish-American advocates and organisers of murderous 
outrage and dynamite plots. The warnings published in the 
Times against plans for signalising the Jubilee by some terrible 
crime — warnings which have since been confirmed by the action 
of the police — were derided, and the assistance of Parnellite 
speakers in political campaigning was eagerly welcomed. Lord 
Hartington was compelled to remark upon this altered position 
of the Gladstonians, while he urged that the dangerous 
principles discerned in the Home Rule Bill had not been 
withdrawn in the Swansea speech. Mr. Gladstone, however, 
succeeded in winning over Sir George Trevelyan, a willing 
convert, who was not long afterwards returned as a Gladstonian 
candidate for the Bridgeton division of Glasgow. 

In contesting the seats which fell vacant during the summer 
the opponents of the Government relied mainly on the anti- 
coercion cry, but owed, perhaps, more to the irritation against 
administrative errors, from which all Ministries after a 
time begin to suffer. The gain of four seats by the Glad- 
stonians, at Burnley, Northwich, Coventry, a^d Spalding, 
and the diminution of the Unionist majority elsewhere, 
bred the most extravagant hopes among the Separatists. 
They persuaded themselves that, though Parliament had passed 
the Crimes Act, it would be possible to nullify it in practice, 
and English politicians, mostly Radicals of no particular mark, 
joined with the leaders of the League in encouraging the Irish 
masses to resist the law. Great efforts were required to 
organise resistance, for the proclamations promptly issued under 
the Crimes Act had cowed the forces of disorder. 

Mr. Parnell, who had retired from active politics during the 
session, now altogether disappeared, and, as it afterwards 
turned out, was living under an assumed name in the suburbs 
of London, leaving Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Dillon to "stand in 


the gap." Mr. O'Brien was the first to come into conflict with 
the law. On the day appointed for his trial under the Crimes 
Act at Mitchelstown for inciting to resist legal process, a 
disorderly crowd gathered to overawe the Bench, and a 
collision with the police ensued, in which the latter were 
roughly handled, and, after flying for shelter to the barracks, 
fired on their assailants, and killed three of them. A verdict 
of wilful murder was found, after a long and disorderly inquiry 
before the coroner, against the police. Mr. O'Brien, on the 
other hand, was convicted by the magistrates, and sentenced to 
three months' imprisonment. The Act, however, provided for 
an appeal, which could only be heard at the ensuing Quarter 

Other prosecutions for similar offences followed, but while 
the appeals were pending the accused continued their defiant 
speeches. The charge against Mr. Sullivan, Lord Mayor of 
Dublin, for publishing reports of the meetings of suppressed 
branches of the League was dismissed on a technical point, but 
the decision was overruled by the higher Court, and Mr. Sullivan 
was subsequently imprisoned on another conviction for a similar 
offence. Mr. O'Brien's appeal had been previously rejected at 
Quarter Sessions, and he was committed at first to Cork and 
then to TuUamore Gaol. Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, one of the 
Separatist emissaries, was convicted at Woodford for inciting to 
resist the law, and his appeal remains to be decided. Other 
patriots evaded summonses and warrants and betook themselves 
to flight, while Mr. Dillon thought it an opportune time for 
imparting political instruction to Englishmen. But, in spite 
of delays, whether avoidable or otherwise, the Crimes Act 
began to make itself felt, under Mr. Balfour's firm and able 
administration, and the power of the League has already been 
much weakened. 

The outcry against " coercion " as a policy was now 
augmented by clamour against the administration of the law, 
and the Separatists developed a system of tactics in which 
reckless misstatement, unabashed by the exaction of apologies, 
was reinforced by attempts, in the interests of a party claiming 
to be the special champions of free speech, to break up 
Unionist meetings. Mr. Gladstone, in addressing the National 
Liberal Federation at Nottingham, went out of his way to 
repeat and reiterate the war-cry he had already invented. 


" Remember Mitchelstown " ; he further suggested for the 
edification of mobs that " the people " had a right to determine 
whether the police were justified in interfering with them, and, 
if there appeared to be no justification, might lawfully resist 
These doctrines were soon applied where they were less easily 
tolerated than in Ireland. Large gatherings of the unemployed 
in Trafalgar Square were addressed by Socialistic agitators with 
the undisguised object of terrorising the well-to-do, and great 
injury was inflicted on business in the West End. 

After some hesitation, the authorities prohibited the 
meetings, but the promoters of the agitation attempted to have 
their way. Fortunately, the police were too strong for the 
disorderly, but some serious conflicts occurred on Sunday, 
13 th November, and the rioters were not finally cowed till the 
Guards had been called out A further proclamation was 
issued by Sir Charles . Warren, forbidding all meetings in the 
Square, and all processions in the neighbourhood, and a large 
number of special constables were sworn in. After one more 
unsuccessful attempt to defy the order, the movement collapsed. 
When the critical fight had been won, a letter was published, 
in which Mr. Gladstone recanted his Nottingham doctrines, 
and counselled the people in London to give way to the 
police pending the trial of any legal questions that might 
be raised, as in the case of Mr. Cunninghame Graham, 
M.P., who has been prosecuted for resisting and assaulting 
the police. 

Nor was this the only topic touched upon by Mr. Gladstone 
at Nottingham, which, if he had retained any hope of winning 
back the allegiance of the Liberal Unionists, he would have 
done well to avoid. The currency which he gave, on the 
hearsay evidence of Professor Stuart, to an unfounded charge 
against Colonel Dopping, a land agent in Donegal, led to a 
threat of legal proceedings, averted by a humiliating retractation, 
of which it must be said that it only becomes intelligible when 
we treat the original statement as meaningless. Of still graver 
import, as a moral symptom, was his treatment of the question 
of disestablishment. Throwing overboard all his former 
convictions on this subject, Mr. Gladstone placed himself in an 
attitude of avowed opportunism, inciting the opponents of 
establishment in Scotland to take example by Wales and to 
return an overwhelming Home Rule majority, and intimating 


that, when they had carried out the Gladstonian policy in 
Ireland, they might do as they pleased with the Church. 

Mr. Gladstone's sophistries were echoed and expanded by 
Sir William Harcourt, Lord Rosebery, and Sir George Trevelyan ; 
and other Gladstonians strove to make a grievance out of Mr. 
O'Brien's treatment in gaol, where, having refused to wear 
prison clothes, he took to his bed till a new tweed suit was 
smuggled in for his use. Mr. Childers, copying the absurd 
declamation of the Irish town councils, denounced this as 
"moral torture" ; but the British public laughed at the woes 
of Mr. O'Brien and his wardrobe, more especially when it was 
shown that Sir George Trevelyan had put several of Mr. 
O'Brien's colleagues into prison clothes and on the plank 
bed. Both Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Sullivan, indeed, met with 
exceptional indulgence— the former on grounds of health, the 
latter on those of age. 

At the same time the Government were resolved that the 
deterrent effect of the law should not be watered down, and Mr. 
Balfour's quiet determination, together with his cheery indiffer- 
ence to abuse, has brought him a large measure of popularity. 
The Liberal Unionists, too, have done their part in repelling the 
dangerous alliance of unscrupulous opportunism with revolu- 
tionists and anarchists. Mr. Chamberlain, shortly before 
leaving for the United States as a member of the Canadian 
Fisheries Commission, visited Ulster, and in a series of 
vigorous speeches drew attention to the importance of the loyal, 
industrious, prosperous, and mainly Protestant people of North- 
Eastern Ireland as a factor in the problem ignored by those who 
made their bargain with the stipendaries of Ford and Egan. Not 
long afterwards Lord Hartington and Mr. Goschen were invited 
to Dublin, where they were welcomed with hearty enthusiasm 
by the representatives of commerce, industry, education, and 
professional skill. Lord Hartington's language in declaring for 
the maintenance of the Union and the support of legality 
against lawlessness was more uncompromising than ever, and 
afterwards, when addressing his constituents in Rossendale, he 
showed why it was impossible, as matters stand, to come to 
terms with Mr. Gladstone. 

This view was more fully developed at the great Liberal 
Unionist demonstration in the Westminster Town Hall, when 
the Gladstonian position, the state of Ireland, and the duty of 


those Liberals who stand by union and by law were discussed 
in a series of brilliant and weighty speeches by Lord Hartington, 
Lord Derby, Lord Selborne, Mr. Goschen, Sir Henry James, 
and the Duke of Argyll, the last, perhaps, bearing away the 
palm for trenchant epigram and conclusive reasoning. Mr. 
Balfour clenched the practical argument against the Separatists, 
before his constituents at Manchester, by a frank and telling 
vindication of the conduct of the Irish Executive and a 
damaging exposure of Gladstonian misrepresentations, the 
effect of which has since been manifest in the impotent anger of 
Sir William Harcourt. Mr. Gladstone's appeals to anarchic 
and Separatist passions have produced some dangerous con- 
sequences in Wales, where resistance to the payment of tithes 
has been organised, and the doctrines of spurious Nationalism 
are strengthened by a movement against the Church and the 

The European situation remains at the close of the year, as 
at its opening, wrapped in anxious uncertainty. It is possible 
that international rivalries, which are so manifest and unabated 
that even Ministerial optimism only ventures to discredit appre- 
hensions of immediate conflict, would have brought the Con- 
tinental Powers to an open rupture if France had not been 
paralysed by internal dissensions. M. Goblet's Ministry was 
never regarded as long-lived, and the feelings aroused by General 
Boulanger's behaviour at the War Department precipitated a 
crisis which, though staved off for a while, enforced the resigna- 
tion of the Government in May, nominally on a question of 

M. Goblet was succeeded by M. Rouvier, the twenty-second 
Premier of France since the proclamation of the Republic in 
1870, who was destined to as brief a tenure of office. President 
Grevy was believed to have resolved not only to exclude General 
Boulanger, whose reckless language, as well as his demands for 
an increased army vote, had given an excuse for German alarms, 
but also M. Clemenceau, the most powerful and politic chief of 
the Radicals. This would not, however, have been possible if 
the Monarchists had not taken advantage of the divisions among 
the Republicans, throwing their weight now to the side of the 
Moderates, now to that of the Extremists, as it appeared that 
there was the greater chance of creating troubles. 

The activity of the Orleanists was most conspicuous, though 


both Prince Victor and his father, Prince Napoleon, issued 
appeals to the nation to keep the memory of their cause alive. 
The Eepublican feuds became more fierce ; General Boulanger 
replied to the bitter criticisms of M. Ferry by a challenge, which 
was not accepted ; and the situation was complicated by the 
prominence given to the party of the revanche headed by M. 
D^roul^de, a Chauvinist fanatic, and patronised for the moment 
by revolutionists like M. Rochefort. This outburst of Chauvinism 
was stimulated by the provocative language of the German Press 
early in the year, when Prince Bismarck was eager to get his 
Army Bill passed, by the trials for treason at Leipsic of the 
Alsatian Separatists, and by the unfortunate occurrences on the 
frontier, when M. Schnaebele was arrested, and afterwards when 
a German sentinel fired on a party of French sportsmen. The 
German Government made amends handsomely for any wrong 
done in these cases, but the effect on public opinion could not 
be obliterated. The Comte de Paris prepared for the possibility 
of a restoration by issuing a manifesto practically identifying the 
policy of his party with that of the anti-Parliamentary Bona- 
partists. When the Chambers reassembled in the autumn, there 
was a determination in several quarters to bring about an 
explosion, and the materials, unhappily, were not wanting. 
The accidental discovery of corrupt transactions, in which some 
officials connected with the War Department were implicated, 
set the spark to the train. 

Charges of corruption were urged both by Radicals and 
Reactionaries against M. Wilson, the President's son-in-law, and 
the Ministry were weak enough to attempt to avert a full 
inquiry. Taking advantage of this blunder, the Right abandoned 
M. Rouvier and joined the Extreme Left in defeating Ministers, 
who thereupon resigned. But the Ministerial crisis forthwith 
became a Presidential one. The legal investigation, tardily 
consented to, brought to light the complicity of the police in 
alleged tampering with documents and suppression of evidence 
in M. Wilson's interest; and popular opinion, excited by the 
violent invectives of the Press, refused to exonerate M. Gr^vy, 
who found it impossible to replace M. Rouvier, and was told by 
the Republican leaders of all shades that his resignation had 
become a necessity. After a considerable delay, during which 
public excitement was dangerously stimulated, M. Gr^vy resigned, 
protesting against proceedings which compromised the dignity 


and stability of the Presidency ; the Senate and the Chamber were 
convened as a Congress for the election of his successor, and the 
Right had the power of securing the victory for M. Ferry, the 
head of the Opportunists, who was opposed by M. de Freycinet, 
the nominee of M. Cl^menceau and the Radicals. 

Acting, however, on the cynical calculation that their interests 
would be served by prolonging the crisis and discrediting the 
Republic, the Right threw away their votes on General Saussier ; 
while the Republicans, closing up their ranks in view of the 
dangers of continued uncertainty, withdrew the original com- 
petitors and elected M. Sadi-Carnot, grandson of the famous 
War Minister of the Revolution, as M. Gravy's successor. The 
Monarchists, whose intrigues and manifestoes had multiplied 
during the autumn, were thus checkmated, but the truce of 
parties could not be deemed permanent. President Carnot was 
unable to get together any strong Republican combination, owing 
to the mutual jealousies of Opportunists and Radicals. M. 
Tirard's stop-gap Cabinet is not expected to last, but for the 
present the strife of factions is suspended, at least till after le 
Jour de VAn. The violence of partisanship has been somewhat 
shamed by the attempt to murder M. Ferry in the lobby of the 
Chamber ; for, though the assassin has been recognised as a 
lunatic, it cannot be doubted that the direction was given to his 
madness by the frantic language of the Radical Press. 

The activity displayed by General Boulanger when in ofl&ce, 
his airs as a popular hero since he was relegated to a provincial 
command, and the adulation of Russia professed by M. D^roulede 
and the partisans of the revanche, have furnished Prince Bismarck 
throughout with reasons for insisting that Germany should 
maintain her attitude of armed watchfulness. The rejection by 
the Reichstag of the Army Bill, granting estimates for an in- 
creased force and for a term of seven years, was met early in the 
year by a dissolution, which gave the Chancellor a working 
majority of Conservatives and National Liberals and paralysed 
the Radicals, while it showed a disquieting augmentation of the 
Socialist vote. The war scare which shook the European Bourses 
quickly died away, but the relations between the Continental 
Powers remained uneasy. 

The language of the Russian newspapers towards Germany 
as well as Austria became more and more bitter, and though 
the menacing speech of the Grand Duke Nicholas in toasting 


the French alliance was disavowed, more or less candidly, the 
presence of M. D^roul^de at M. Katkoff s funeral was taken as a 
sign of the drift of national sympathies. It could not be dis- 
guised, however, that French sympathies and antipathies were 
an unsafe standing-ground for Russian policy while the political 
future of France remained dark and doubtful. 

Accordingly Russia maintained an attitude of reserve on the 
Bulgarian question while resisting any settlement. The Regency, 
failing to obtain the sanction of the Powers, but successfully 
keeping order in spite of Russian intrigue and occasional hostile 
pressure from Turkey, at last induced Prince Ferdinand of 
Coburg to accept the offer of the vacant princedom, though not 
without delays and futile overtures to the Czar which threw 
doubt on his good faith. Without encouragement from any 
quarter, Prince Ferdinand repaired to Sofia, was cordially re- 
ceived by the Bulgarians, and, in spite of the provisional 
character of his power, which Germany as well as Russia refused 
to recognise, established his position, as was shown at the recent 
general election, with a fair measure of success. Still the 
question is not closed, and Russia may at any moment take 
advantage of it to force on a contest with Austria. Moreover, 
in Berlin and Vienna the feeling has gained ground that it may 
be the interest of Germany and Austria to bring about a quarrel 
before Russia gets too strong and has France as an active ally. 
Whether one or other side will choose to precipitate a strife of 
doubtful issue is the problem of the hour. 

The concentration of Russian troops on the frontier of 
Austrian Poland has caused grave uneasiness both in Berlin and 
Vienna, and the German newspapers have been urging upon 
Austria the imperative necessity for adopting vigorous measures 
of defence or counter-movement. Prince Bismarck also has been 
labouring by diplomatic means to smooth over the difl&culty. 
He had already been temporarily successful, for when the Czar 
visited Berlin in the autumn he received from the Chancellor 
satisfactory explanations of statements, based, it is alleged, on 
forgeries concocted in the interest of Prince Ferdinand, tending 
to alienate Russia from Germany. It is impossible, however, 
to explain away the cardinal facts of the situation. 

Prince Bismarck's policy has piled up what seems a higher 
and more solid barrier in the path of Russian ambition. The 
national enthusiasm for the unity and the greatness of Germany 


was displayed when the Emperor's ninetieth birthday was 
celebrated, and this sentiment is now incorporated with the 
maintenance of the alliance with Austria-Hungary, regarded as 
an outpost of German civilisation. 

It is not unimportant to note that a better understanding 
was established with the Vatican before the general election in 
the spring. But far more significant is the open adhesion of 
Italy to the alliance of the Central Powers. It was feared that 
the death of Signor Depretis would weaken the bonds uniting 
Italian policy with that of Germany and Austria; but these 
bonds, on the contrary, have been strengthened under Signor 
Crispi, who visited Prince Bismarck at Friedrichsruh early in 
October, and on his return home announced that Italy had 
allied herself with the two Empires for the maintenance of 
European peace. He also intimated, though more obscurely, 
that an understanding between Italy and England had secured 
the status quo in the Mediterranean. The German Press gave 
prominence to these statements ; and it is now generally under- 
stood that if Austria should be menaced by Russia or Germany 
by France, the Italian army will form part of the defensive 
system, and the English fleet, in conjunction with the Italian 
navy, will be able absolutely to guarantee the coasts and the 
ports of Italy against a French descent. 

How far the guarantee of the status quo in the Mediterranean 
practically embraces the British occupation of Egypt may be a 
matter of controversy, but the turn affairs have taken may cause 
Frenchmen, at least, to regret that French and Russian influences 
were exerted at Constantinople to obstruct the Convention 
regulating the Egyptian situation negotiated by Sir Henry 
Drummond Wolff. Henceforward, at any rate, it will be im- 
possible to assert that England has not made a reasonable offer 
for the fulfilment of the pledges given by Mr. Gladstone's 
Government. The Convention for securing the neutrality of the 
Suez Canal exempts the artificial water-way from blockade and 
military operations, and ensures free passage to ships of all 
nations both during peace and war. In other respects the policy 
of the Porte has been shifty and uncertain, now leaning towards 
Russia, now towards England, and again fitfully following German 

Of other European States there is little to be said. Spain, if 
a judgment may be formed from the welcome given to the 


infant King by the Cortes, is settling down under the rule of 
the Queen Regent, and, in spite of factious rancour, the danger 
of a reckless policy in Morocco, where jealousy of French 
intrigues seemed likely to bring about a collision, has been 
averted. Many Continental Governments have been seriously 
disturbed by the progress of Socialism, which is rampant among 
the working men in Belgium, in Austria, and in Germany, as 
well as in France. No open reconciliation has yet been effected 
between the Italian Government and the Papacy, but the tension 
so long maintained has been in some degree relaxed. The Pope, 
who has this year celebrated the completion of the fiftieth year 
of his sacerdotal life, has exchanged courtesies with our own 
Government as with other Protestant Powers. Monsignor Ruffo 
Scilla was present to congratulate the Queen at the Jubilee, and 
the Duke of Norfolk has since been sent on behalf of Her 
Majesty to reciprocate the good wishes of His Holiness. Greater 
political importance attaches to Monsignor Persico's mission to 
Ireland, where he has been inquiring into the relations between 
the Church and the revolutionary party, but nothing is as yet 
certainly known of the results of his investigation. 

In Asia, as in Europe, the year has been marked rather by 
expectancy and preparation than by decisive events. The long 
struggle over the delimitation of the Russo- Afghan boundary 
has been temporarily closed, and Sir West Ridgeway, after 
settling some outstanding questions at St. Petersburg, has sought 
another field of action at Dublin Castle. It is clearly under- 
stood, however, that Russia is now at the gates of Afghanistan, and 
that the Indian Government must be prepared for all the conse- 
quences of that proximity. The power of the Ameer was 
threatened by a rising of the Ghilzais and by the escape of his 
rival, Ayoob Khan, who failed, however, to obtain support, and 
surrendered himself to the British agent at Meshed. 

The visit of Lord Dufferin and Sir Frederick Roberts to the 
North-Western frontier and Quetta has been marked by the 
formal incorporation of the latter district in the Anglo-Indian 
dominions under the title of British Beloochistan, and by new 
plans for the extension of the Indian railway system in those 
regions and in the direction of Candahar. The Nizam's gift to 
the Indian Government was, no doubt, inspired by the convic- 
tion, widely diffused among the native princes, that the military 
power of England alone stands between them and the advance 



of Kussian autocracy. The absurd pretensions of the Maharajah 
Dhuleep Singh, who has been masquerading, under Russian 
patronage, as a champion of Indian nationalism, have met with 
no response. It is satisfactory to know that even in Burmah, 
where the difficulties of assimilation are the greatest and the 
most recent, the establishment of order has been carried far. 

The conception rather than the policy of Imperial Federation 
was advanced by the associations of the Jubilee year. The 
Conference of Colonial Agents-General and other delegates pro- 
duced much interesting exchange of views, some valuable sugges- 
tions for measures of common defence, and for improvements in 
the postal and telegraphic services, but not even the rudiments of 
a federal scheme. Both the Colonies and the mother country 
shunned the discussion of the difficulties of their incongruous 
tariffs. The most satisfactory result as yet attained — for little 
advance has been made hitherto towards protecting ports and 
coaling stations — is the diplomatic action, undertaken concur- 
rently with the Suez Canal negotiations, by which France has 
been induced to despatch orders for the withdrawal of her troops 
from the New Hebrides. The retirement from Port Hamilton, 
in deference to Chinese objections, is probably wise, if China 
can be trusted to hold the place in her own interest and ours. 
East Zululand has been annexed to Natal to prevent the Boers, 
who have " eaten up " the rest of the country, from driving the 
natives to despair. Recently attention has been called to the 
renewed activity of German adventurers in this quarter, especi- 
ally in regard to Delagoa Bay, and to the necessity for looking 
in good time after Imperial and Colonial interests. We may 
also note in this connection the expedition organised for the 
relief of Emin Pasha, one of Gordon's lieutenants, which Mr. 
Stanley has undertaken to conduct from the Congo region to the 
White Nile, but of which the success is still a subject of anxiety. 

The question which has given most trouble to the Colonial 
Office is the long-standing Canadian fisheries dispute, lately 
exacerbated by the violence of some politicians in the United 
States. The Government at Washington, however, have shown 
moderation and courtesy, and there is ground for hope that the 
Joint Commission appointed to inquire into the subject and to 
suggest the terms of a compromise may be successful in its 
labours. The choice of Mr. Chamberlain as Chief Commissioner 
for this country is a pledge that British policy will not be 


governed by mere diplomatic traditions, but by a business-like 
view of the whole case. It is unfortunate, no doubt, that the 
work of the Commission should have to be done on the eve of a 
Presidential election, when party spirit is at its height. 

Mr. Cleveland's Message to Congress at the opening of the 
present session is likely to reanimate the moribund parties of the 
United States by raising a new and vital issue. The President's 
condemnation of the existing tariff is not based theoretically on 
free trade grounds, but on the practical argument that it is 
monstrous to extract from the pockets of the community taxes, 
to the amount of many millions, not required for the ordinary 
business of government. Nevertheless, both Protectionists and 
Freetraders perceive that, if Mr. Cleveland's policy be carried 
out, a great advance will be made towards free trade. On this 
issue, it seems probable, parties will be reconstructed and the 
Presidential contest of 1888 decided. It is still possible, how- 
ever, that Mr. Cleveland may be forced to recede from his 
position by the timidity and the divisions of his followers. 

The most important name in the obituary of the year is that 
of Lord Iddesleigh, better known as Sir- Stafford Northcote, 
whose scrupulous fairness of mind and unruffled geniality of 
temper in the trying position of leader of the House of Commons 
had won him the affectionate regard of men of all parties. 
Lord Lyons, the most accomplished and experienced of English 
diplomatists, had retired from the Paris embassy, where he has 
been succeeded by Lord Lytton, just before he was struck down 
by his last illness. 

Among others well known in the political or social world of 
England who have passed away during the year may be men- 
tioned Mr. Beresford Hope, Mr. Newdegate, Sir William 
M 'Arthur, and Mr. Ry lands, who had been so long familiar 
figures in Parliament ; Lord "Wolverton, the most faithful of 
Mr. Gladstone's followers ; Lord and Lady Dalhousie, cut off by 
a strange and sad fate within a few days of one another ; General 
Valentine Baker, best known as Baker Pasha, the rank he had 
won in the Turkish and Egyptian armies ; Sir Joseph Whit- 
worth, a great name in the world of industry and invention ; 
Sir Philip Wodehouse, Sir Ashley Eden, Sir Henry Gordon, Sir 
Robert Montgomery, Sir John Mellor, and Mr. Justice Lawson, 
who had served the State well in different spheres of duty ; 
Jenny Lind, in her day the most renowned of operatic singers ; 


Sir George Macfarren, a life-long labourer in the cause of musical 
education ; Mr. Thring, head master of Uppingham ; Serjeant 
Ballantine, Lady Brassey, Professor Spencer Baynes, Mr. Mac- 
konochie of St. Albans, Holborn ; Mrs. Craik, the author of 
John Halifax; Mr. Kichard Jefferies, the author of The Game- 
keeper at Home ; Sir George Burrows, the Nestor of the medical 
profession ; Mr. Palgrave Simpson, the dramatist ; and Arch- 
bishop M'Gettigan, the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland. 

Abroad the list of eminent men who have passed away during 
the year is a scanty one. In Michael Katkoflf, the famous editor 
of the Moscow Gazette, Russia parted with the very embodiment 
of her national spirit and a power in the State scarcely second 
to the Czar himself. France lost M. Raoul Duval, a Conserva- 
tive who had frankly accepted the Republic ; Admiral Jaur^- 
guiberry, and M. Paul F^val, a veteran romancist ; Germany, 
Herr Krupp, the founder of the vast ironworks and gun factories 
at Essen ; and Professor Ronge, the theologian ; Italy, Signor 
Depretis, one of the ablest of the statesmen of the monarchy, 
and Cardinal Jacobini, the Papal Secretary of State ; Belgium, 
M. Gallait, the painter ; the United States, Mr. Tilden, the 
Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 1876, and Mr. 
Washburne, formerly Minister in Paris. Langiewicz, the leader 
of the Poles in the insurrection of 1863, and Father Beckx, 
formerly " General " of the Jesuits, can hardly be described as 
belonging to any country. 


The increasing violence of party spirit in domestic politics and 
the continued sense of an unstable equilibrium in the inter- 
national relations of all the leading Powers have marked 1888 
as a year of turbulence and disquietude at home and abroad. 
Europe has witnessed, what is without example in modern 
history, the death, in swift succession, of two German Emperors, 
now the most powerful of Continental rulers. In the United 
Kingdom there has been a moderate and steady revival of 
trade, a tolerably favourable harvest, and an improvement in 
the public credit mainly due to Mr. Goschen's financial opera- 
tions ; but prosperity has not been so striking as to quench the 
hopes of agitators. 

The Gladstonian and Parnellite Opposition, fused together 
by the compact of their leaders and the common purpose of 
reconquering power, assailed the Ministry and the Ministerial 
policy with a vehemence and a disregard for scruples which 
might have been expected, perhaps, to produce a greater effect. 
After a succession of " excursions and alarms," the Opposition, 
though they have gained a couple of seats, stand at the end of 
the year pretty nearly where they stood at the beginning. 
They have failed either to create a reaction in favour of Home 
Rule in the constituencies or to shake the Government in the 
House of Commons. 

The only important Ministerial change has been the return 
of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach to the Cabinet as President of the 
Board of Trade in succession to Lord Stanley of Preston. Lord 
Salisbury and his colleagues have lost no ground in public 
esteem. Mr. Goschen has added to his high reputation as a 
financier, Mr. Ritchie has established his position as a politician 


capable of dealing ably with large measures, and, above all, Mr. 
Balfour's courage and resolution, his imperturbable temper, his 
skill in oratorical fence and his trenchant powers of reasoning 
have brought him into the very front rank of contemporary 

On the other side there is little change to be noted. Mr. 
Gladstone continues to display energy and spirit marvellous in 
a man entering on his eightieth year, and, at the same time, to 
exhibit an ever-diminishing amount of discretion and dignity ; 
Sir William Harcourt has completely assimilated the methods 
and the manners of his Parnellite allies, and Mr. Morley has 
shown how it is possible for the speculative theorist to sink, in 
the whirl of faction, into the reckless partisan. Mr. Parnell, 
even before the Special Commission was appointed, assumed an 
attitude of curious reserve, leaving the active labours and risks 
of confronting the law to Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien. He was 
entertained at the " purged " Eighty Club in the spring, and 
then astonished his hosts, whose chiefs had been vindicating or 
apologising for the Plan of Campaign, by his condemnation of 
that policy. 

The extraordinary attention paid, especially by the Opposi- 
tion, to bye-elections throughout the year surpassed even the 
anxiety shown by Mr. Gladstone in presence of a much more 
striking series of contests fifteen years ago, culminating in the 
disaster at Stroud which precipitated the dissolution of 1874. 
The Winchester election, which showed a considerable increase 
in the Conservative vote, and that at Dundee, which showed a 
considerable decrease in the Separatist vote, were encouraging 
to the Unionists, but the large Eadical gain on the polling in 
Southwark and Mr. Buchanan's return in West Edinburgh after 
his perversion to Home Rule more than redressed the balance, 
until the Doncaster division was won by a Unionist and the 
seat at Deptford, where Mr. Evelyn, the retiring Conservative 
member, had placed his influence at the disposal of Mr. Wilfrid 
Blunt, was held, notwithstanding, against the Separatists by an 
adequate majority. In Mid Lanark the Gladstonians main- 
tained their ground, in spite of a split with the extreme Labour 
party. In the Gower division, however, among the most 
Radical of Welshmen, the Gladstonian majority was reduced 
from 3000 to 600. 

The Separatists, it may be admitted, had more to boast of at 
VOL. II 2 a 


Southampton and in the Ayr Burghs, where they won two 
seats, mainly through the unfortunate selection of Unionist 
candidates. In the Isle of Thanet Mr. James Lowther, who 
was opposed by a popular Gladstonian, fell far short of Colonel 
King-Harman's poll. At Dewsbury, on the other hand, Mr. 
Arnold Forster added largely to the Unionist vote, against an 
influential local Home Ruler. Nor had the Opposition much to 
congratulate themselves upon in Merthyr, where the nominee of 
the Caucus, with special credentials from Mr. Gladstone himself, 
was severely beaten by an independent Radical. In Holborn, 
though the Unionist battle was fought under every disadvantage 
as compared with that of 1886, Lord Compton was defeated by 
nearly 1000 votes. At Maidstone, also, the seat was held, 
though the Unionist majority was lowered. At Colchester the 
Unionist majority was largely augmented, and at Stockton, 
though Sir Horace Davey was returned, his Conservative oppo- 
nent, who had been beaten by upwards of 1000 in 1885 and 
1886, fell short of success by only 395 votes, the result, in both 
cases, being largely due to the energy of the Liberal section of 
the Unionist party. 

During the year, furthermore, the Unionists vacated and 
recovered without an attempt at contest no fewer than seven 
seats in Great Britain, and the Separatists one only. In 
Ireland the Parnellites still "hold the field." The local 
fluctuations of electoral fortune give no support to Mr. Glad- 
stone's theory that the Liberal Unionist voters are coming round 
to his side, and that the Liberal Unionist leaders will soon 
be left without a following. The latter, certainly, have never 
been more determined or more energetic in their resistance to 
Mr. Gladstone's policy, which has now taken the form not only 
of Separatism applied directly to Ireland, and dangled as a 
bribe before sectional interests in Wales and Scotland, but of 
anarchy and defiance of all constituted authority wherever it 
suits a local majority to resist the law. The adoption by the 
Gladstonians, in spite of repeated disproof, of the grossest 
calumnies and misrepresentations of the Parnellites has 
strengthened the Liberal Unionist protest, and, since the 
failure of the hopes entertained by the Separatists that their 
opponents would quarrel over the question of local government, 
nothing has been heard on either side of. compromises and 


Lord Hartington and his followers have addressed public 
meetings in every part of the country, and from Mr. Bright, 
before he was completely prostrated by illness, there came brief 
but impressive letters, putting the Unionist case in the most 
striking and popular way. Mr. Chamberlain, on his return 
from negotiating the Fisheries Treaty at Washington, was 
warmly welcomed at Birmingham, and, withdrawing from the 
Liberal caucus in which Gladstonian intolerance had got the 
upper hand, he founded a new Association, destined to prove its 
strength at the municipal elections in the autumn. After the 
Parliamentary adjournment the Prime Minister, Mr. Balfour, 
Mr. Goschen, and other members of the Government took their 
share in the work, and in London, Lancashire, and Yorkshire, 
in the North and the South, in Wales and in Scotland, the 
truth was placed side by side with statements borrowed from 
the Pamellites by the Gladstonians. 

Mr. Blunt's imprisonment for an attempt to hold an illegal 
meeting at Woodford was rewarded by his acceptance as a 
candidate by the Deptford Gladstonians, but his attempt to 
recover damages for his arrest only exposed the absurdity of his 
conduct, and drew from Chief Baron Palles an emphatic con- 
demnation of the terrorist system. While Mr. Blunt's case was 
still the theme of discussion, Lord Ripon and Mr. Morley visited 
Dublin, and were welcomed by a large gathering, which showed 
that their cause was not supported by any appreciable fraction 
of the wealth, enterprise, and intelligence of Ireland. Mean- 
while the clamour was kept up about the rape of Mr. O'Brien's 
small clothes and the effect of prison treatment on his fragile 
frame until he was released, whereupon Mr. Dillon was at 
liberty to qualify in like manner for martyrdom by breaking 
the law anrl to trade for English sympathies on the delicacy of 
his health. 

We need scarcely add that these political lawbreakers 
usually resorted to every quirk and quibble of the law to avoid 
punishment, falling back, after defeat, on the legend, supported 
by Mr. Blunt's silly tittle-tattle, that the Chief Secretary was 
plotting to get rid of his political opponents in prison. This 
sort of stuff was greedily swallowed by Mr. Gladstone, who, 
during the inquest on Mr. Mandeville, declared, without waiting 
to hear what evidence there was on the other side, that the 
treatment of the deceased in Tullamore Gaol had been brutal 


and shameful. Dr. Ridley, the medical officer, who committed 
suicide during the proceedings, was shown to have been already 
the object of cruel Nationalist persecution, and to have broken 
down under the terrible charges urged against him before the 
hostile tribunal of the coroner. The two inquiries, though 
conducted with a scandalous disregard for decency and fairness, 
at least brought the facts to light. Mr. Mandeville, who died 
of a disease that runs a brief course, had been seven months out 
of gaol, leading an active life and boasting of his robust health. 
Yet the Gladstonians continue to repeat the fabricated legend of 
his martyrdom. Mr. Gladstone, indeed, added in the autumn a 
touch of heightened colour to the picture, denouncing Mr. 
Balfour as worse than King Bomba because he made political 
prisoners associate with ordinary criminals. Confronted with 
his own account of the Neapolitan horrors, among which it 
appeared that he had seen Italian patriots herded with the 
vilest wretches and actually chained to murderers, he had 
nothing better to say than that he had seen at Naples one 
prisoner who was not so treated. He still maintains, in spite 
of Mr. Balfour's detailed refutation, his mythical stories of 
Mitchelstown and Mr. Mandeville, and apparently believes, in 
the teeth of the evidence, that his Government never treated 
the "political offence" of intimidation with the severity pre- 
scribed by law. In this mystification he has been zealously 
assisted by Sir William Harcourt, Sir George Trevelyan, and 
Lord Spencer. 

The support given by the Nonconformist ministers of this 
country, who know nothing of Ireland and would risk nothing 
by Home Rule, was exhibited earlier in the year, at the 
Farringdon Street Memorial Hall, where the leader of the 
Opposition responded to their expression of confidence in a 
fervid and vague harangue. The answer came several months 
later, when a large gathering of Nonconformists, chiefly lay- 
men, welcomed Lord Salisbury and Lord Hartington at the 
Whitehall Rooms of the Hotel M^tropole, and an address signed 
by nine- tenths of the non-Episcopalian clergy of Ireland was 
presented to the Unionist leaders, protesting against the Separa- 
tist designs. The enthusiastic reception which Lord Hartington 
had met with not long before at Belfast from those who had 
been the staunchest Liberal supporters of Mr. Gladstone told the 
same tale. 



Meanwhile tlie anarchic fury of the Separatists had convinced 
some who had been doubtful that " coercion " in Ireland was a 
necessity so long as the League set itself up against the law ; 
and the Papal rescript, condemning boycotting and the Plan of 
Campaign, which was followed up by further letters and orders, 
struck a heavy blow at the terrorist system, by enjoining the 
priesthood not to take part, directly or indirectly, in the 
forbidden proceedings. " Patriot priests" like Father M'Fadden 
still defied the voice of the Church as well as the law of the 
land, but the double pressure was more and more felt. The 
steady operation of the summary jurisdiction provided by the 
Crimes Act rendered organised intimidation more difficult and 
dangerous, and, freedom being in part restored, evicted farms 
began to be taken and land to be dealt with on economic prin- 
ciples. Speeches were still delivered surreptitiously and illegally 
inciting to terrorism, and crimes like the murders of Fitz- 
maurice, Quirke, and Murphy, in Kerry, were still perpetrated 
from time to time. Of these the worst were brought to 
justice, under the change of venue, at the Wicklow Assizes. 
Whether or not the speeches and the outrages were connected 
it would be improper to pronounce an opinion while the 
Special Commission appointed under the Act of Parliament 
is inquiring into that and other kindred issues. "We have 
only here to note the fact that the Commission, after a pre- 
liminary meeting in September, entered upon its regular 
work on the 22nd of October, sitting mostly on four days 
in the week, and adjourned on the 14th of December to the 
15th of January. 

It was to be expected that the alliance of the Gladstonians 
with the party of violence, anarchy, and disintegration in 
Ireland would not remain without effect in Great Britain. 
Separatist doctrines have made rapid progress in Wales, allying 
themselves with schemes for the overthrow of the Church and 
the spoliation of the landowners, and employing in the attempt 
to organise a tithe war those methods of furious denunciation, 
calumny, and appeals to popular greed which we recognise as 
borrowed from the Irish armoury. The same doctrines have 
shown themselves in Scotland, though there they are as yet 
adopted by few persons of any political note. Mr. Gladstone 
and his acolytes. Sir William Harcourt, Sir George Trevelyan, 
and Mr. Morley, have turned an approving eye on the move- 


ment in Wales, and have intimated that they have an open 
mind in the case of Scotland. 

Apart from the abstract attractions of separatism, anywhere 
and everywhere, the champions of the League cannot affect 
indignation at forcible resistance to the execution of the law in 
Skye or the Lewis, or at the attacks on auctioneers and bailiffs 
when goods are seized for tithes in Wales. It is a little more 
doubtful whether it is good policy to take sides with violence in 
London, for London, according to Mr. Morley, must be won if 
Home Rule is to be carried, so that Mr. Cunninghame Graham 
and Mr. Burns have been unpitied martyrs during their im- 
prisonment. But the facilities afforded by the " open mind " 
are great, and Mr. Gladstone showed in his speeches at Birming- 
ham in November, and at Limehouse little more than a 
fortnight ago, that, though he gives the first place to the Irish 
craze, he is willing to add any number of new articles of faith 
to the party creed, if by so doing he can gain votes. 

The National Liberal Federation, which met under the 
shadow of the Unionist victories at the municipal elections in 
Birmingham, and in the absence of Mr. Chamberlain, who had 
started for Washington to get married, must have been con- 
founded at the mass of accepted dogmas which Mr. Gladstone 
had either repudiated three years before or, at the most, had 
tolerated as " pious opinions." To Home Rule for Ireland and 
possibly for Wales are to be added Welsh disestablishment, 
local option, "one man one vote," payment of members, the 
repeal of the Septennial Act, the Channel Tunnel, and half a 
dozen other "fads," while the door is invitingly held open to 
as many more, from anti- vaccination to free schools. Mr. 
Morley's plan, indeed, for winning over London was adopted 
en bloc by Mr. Gladstone in his visit to Limehouse, and, put 
into plain language, it amounts to this, that the " open mind " 
of the Liberal party will embrace anything Londoners choose to 
ask for, if they are only able to give votes enough in exchange 
for a speculative promise to pay. 

A good deal has been heard this year about the metropolitan 
police, and the visible friction between the Commissioner, Sir 
Charles Warren, and the Home Secretary was brought to a 
crisis by the publication by the former of a controversial 
magazine article, which Mr. Matthews pronounced to be contrary 
to rule. Sir Charles Warren thereupon resigned, and was sue- 


ceeded by Mr. Monro, who, as chief of the detective department, 
had been involved in the previous misunderstandings, but who, 
it is hoped, may now be able to make the whole machine work 
more smoothly. Sir Charles Warren was most unfairly held 
responsible by some foolish persons for the failure of the police 
to discover the author of the horrible series of murders and 
mutilations perpetrated at intervals during the year in the 
Whitechapel district. Another remarkable resignation was that 
of Lord Charles Beresford, whose conduct at the Admiralty was 
probably too imperious for a subordinate, but who has done his 
part in drawing attention to the now acknowledged weakness of 
the navy. 

From the recent speeches of the Prime Minister, the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, and other members of the Government 
it may be inferred that a vigorous attempt will be made in the 
coming year to supply the patent defects in our military and 
naval systems which were brought to light by the success of the 
attacking squadron in the naval manoeuvres. The reluctance of 
the Duke of Cambridge to renew the privileges of the National 
Rifle Association at Wimbledon and the refusal of the Crown to 
grant similar privileges at Richmond Park alarmed the volun- 
teers, but, after the consideration of other sites, the removal of 
the meeting - place to Brookwood, near Woking, has been 
accepted as a working compromise. 

The Armada Tercentenary and the Italian, Irish, and Anglo- 
Danish Exhibitions in London were among the minor events of 
the year. The Local Government Act has put an end to the 
Metropolitan Board of Works, which, in any ca^e, could hardly 
have survived the report of the Commission presided over by 
Lord Herschell, and the preparations for the first election of its 
successor, the County Council of London, are now in progress. 
The School Board for London has been elected for another term 
of three years, and the party identified with economy and 
voluntary schools remains in power, with a slightly diminished 
majority. We may note also the appearance of the Report of 
the Education Commission, containing so much controversial 
matter that it is not likely to be acted upon. Education was 
naturally one of the chief topics discussed at the Church 
Congress, where, however, Mr. Balfour's eloquent and thoughtful 
address on " The Religion of Humanity" was the most interesting 


Though France has ceased to be the centre round which 
European politics revolve, French affairs are always interesting 
to other nations, if only because reaction or revolution in France 
may instantaneously change the aspect of international relations 
throughout the civilised world. Having passed the eighteenth 
anniversary of the proclamation of the Third Republic, and 
having tried a new Ministerial combination, the twenty-fourth 
since September 1870, France seems to have once more reached 
that critical stage in which institutions and individuals have 
alike fallen into discredit, and desperate, unreasoning attempts 
to recover public confidence open a way both for selfish ambition 
and for anarchical impatience. It is hoped rather than believed 
that the crisis may, at least, be deferred till after the Exhibition 
of the coming year, which is to commemorate the opening of 
the revolutionary period a century ago. 

In foreign affairs the main fact to be noted is the exacerbation 
of the quarrel, now of long standing, with Italy, in which, 
however, the faults, of manner at any rate, have not all been 
on the side of France. While Signor Crispi's despatches have 
not been conciliatory in regard to either the rights of Italian 
subjects in Tunis or the abrogation by Italy of the capitulations 
at Massowah, French jealousy and bitterness were unmistakably 
shown in the harsh treatment of Italian workmen in France, 
and in the diplomatic obstruction which Italy had to meet on 
every question which brought the two nations into contact. 
Towards Germany France has behaved, on the whole, with 
prudence and reserve, not officially noticing provocative lan- 
guage, but steadily keeping up with, or perhaps outstripping, 
the German expenditure on the army and navy. 

The French Press has been sharp in its comments on English 
policy, and French diplomacy has been dilatory and litigious, 
but no serious causes of strife with this country have arisen. 
Frenchmen, indeed, have been too absorbed in the anxieties of 
domestic politics to have much attention to spare for foreign 
affairs, except so far as they seem to bear upon the necessity for 
organising the national defences. To the vast increase of mili- 
tary and naval expenditure, incurred when the finances were 
crippled, the yield of taxes dwindling, and the debt double that 
of this country, no opposition was practically offered. Yet 
faction had risen to an unprecedented height, and charges of 
corruption were bandied about on all sides. 


The trial of M. Wilson and the severe sentence passed upon him 
did not serve M. Tirard's Government, nor was its position im- 
proved by the cashiering of General Boulanger, on the ground of 
disobedience to the orders of the War Minister. The General 
was dangerous, no doubt, as a political intriguer who had 
obtained votes in seven departments, and still held a military 
command, but he became more troublesome as a " martyr." 
M. Tirard was succeeded by M. Floquet, with M. Goblet as Foreign 
Minister, and the new Cabinet immediately set about " dishing " 
General Boulanger, who was returned both in the Dordogne 
and in the Nord, and who put himself forward as the champion 
of a revision of the Constitution. After some shuffling M. 
Floquet adopted the revision cry, against the judgment of the 
most sagacious and patriotic Frenchmen ; but General Boulanger, 
supported with various ulterior views by Royalists, Bonapartists, 
and some extreme Revolutionists, is likely to get what credit is 
to be derived from this move. His tactics have been peculiar. 
By standing in a number of constituencies — the last being 
Paris, where he is at this moment a candidate, — he has con- 
trived to take a sort of informal pMhisdte, and, in spite of more 
than one check, the results have been on the whole so decidedly 
in his favour that the Government are afraid he will become a 
candidate at the elections of next year for some forty seats, and 
will thus enter the Chamber with overwhelming prestige. Last 
summer the quarrel between M. Floquet and General Boulanger 
ran so high that a duel took place, in which the latter was 
severely wounded, and scandal has since been busy in many 
ways with his name. All this, however, advertises him, and 
the revision scheme of the Ministry, being obviously intended 
to maintain the present majority permanently in power and to 
render a real appeal to the country impossible, does not grow in 

The weakness of the Ministerial attempt to substitute once 
more the scrutin d'arrondissement for the scrutin de liste, which 
in the time of Gambetta was accepted as the Radical policy, is 
so manifest that the partisans of the Government hardly 
disguise it themselves. The Baudin demonstration a few weeks 
ago proves that M. Floquet and his allies, with all their sub- 
servience to Radical demands, are distrusted by the Revolu- 
tionists as well as by the Conservatives. The trial of M. 
Numa Gilly, Mayor of Nimes, for a libel on the Budget 


Commission has brought to light a crop of those scandals which 
in France are among the symptoms of revolution. 

That nothing might be wanting to complete the parallel 
with the days preceding the fall of Louis Philippe and that of 
Napoleon III., the position of the Panama Canal, in which 
millions of Frenchmen have invested their savings, has become 
most serious. M. de Lesseps having changed his plans and 
undertaken to construct a canal with locks instead of an open 
waterway, the issue of a Lottery Loan to cover the increased 
expenses was resolved on by the shareholders and sanctioned by 
the Chambers ; but when issued, owing to a false report of M. 
de Lesseps' death — denounced as a Stock Exchange manoeuvre 
— or to other causes, not half the loan was taken up, and, subse- 
quent efforts to float it failing, an appeal was made to the 
Government and to the Chambers. The Government sanctioned 
a modest relief Bill, giving M. de Lesseps' company time to 
meet its obligations, but the Chamber, fearing that this would 
involve the acceptance of responsibility, nationally and inter- 
nationally, for the scheme, threw out the Bill by a large 
majority. The discontent of a large body of small investors is 
a formidable element at a time when the temper of a large 
section of the voters has been shown by the election of the 
Communist General Cluseret to the Chamber of Deputies. 

The prolongation of the French crisis was keenly watched in 
Germany, and Prince Bismarck's policy was throughout directed 
to the isolation of France. Before the introduction of the 
Army Bill, the Chancellor emphasised the significance of the 
alliance of the Central Powers by authorising the publication at 
Berlin and Vienna of the Treaty of 1879, providing against the 
eventualities of an attack on either Empire by France or 
Russia, and the measure, which was promptly voted by the 
Reichstag, led the way for similar augmentations of military 
expenditure in France, Austria, Russia, and Italy. While 
taking his stand firmly on the Austrian alliance, the Chan- 
cellor strove to conciliate Russia by speaking contemptuously 
of Bulgaria, where Prince Ferdinand held his ground, in 
spite of the renewed protest of the Porte against the illegality 
of his position. Nevertheless, the relations between Germany 
and Russia were by no means cordial. The German news- 
papers under Prince Bismarck's influence, which have since 
been allowed to attack not only France, but England and even 



Austria, with «as little courtesy as fairness, engaged in a sharp 
polemic, repeatedly renewed, with the Kussian Press, and the 
German money-market at one time created a panic by a hasty 
attempt to get rid of its excessive burden of Russian securities. 

Attention was soon diverted from these controversies by the 
fatal illness of the Emperor William and the alarming reports 
of the health of his son, who was at San Remo when his father 
died. Though the Emperor William had reached a patriarchal 
age, his death was deeply felt by the German people. The 
funeral ceremony was carried out with an impressive magnifi- 
cence never surpassed. The wildest hopes and fears were 
excited in France and elsewhere by the accession of the 
Emperor Frederick, in whose state a temporary improvement 
was visible after his arrival in Berlin. That his views in 
domestic policy were much more liberal than those of his 
father and that he was sincerely desirous of peace became soon 
apparent, and a certain amount of friction arose between him 
and the Chancellor, threatening to end at one time in the 
resignation of the latter, who opposed the projected marriage 
between the Princess Victoria and Prince Alexander, the former 
ruler of Bulgaria. In these controversies the Crown Prince, 
who has now become the Emperor William II., ranged himself 
apparently on the side of the Chancellor. The Emperor 
Frederick slowly sank under a malady which the post-mortem 
examination showed to be incurable, and, though the event was 
long expected, it produced an outburst of unfeigned and disin- 
terested grief, not only in Germany, but throughout Europe, 
and especially in Great Britain, which was the highest tribute 
to a lofty character and a noble life. The new Emperor in his 
earliest proclamations and speeches reproduced the spirit and the 
language of his grandfather, with a less pacific temper and a 
more outspoken dislike of German Liberalism. 

We need only notice in passing the painful and not 
very creditable squabbles which arose out of the illness of 
the Emperor Frederick, the charges and counter-charges of Sir 
Morell Mackenzie and Professor von Bergmann, the publication 
of the late Emperor's diary, and the arrest and prosecution of 
Dr. Geffcken for alleged complicity in that offence. The foreign 
policy of the Empire, which practically governs that of Central 
Europe, has undergone no change, though much alarm was 
caused both in Austria-Hungary and in France by the visit of 


the young Emperor William, soon after his accession, to the 
Czar at Peterhof. The German semi-official Press continued 
to write contemptuously and abusively of Bulgaria, and the 
friendly relations between the German and the Russian Courts 
were the subject of various comment It soon appeared, how- 
ever, that the " League of Peace," the alliance of Germany with 
Austria and Italy, was still the keystone of German policy. 
The visits of Signor Crispi and Count Kalnoky to Prince 
Bismarck were followed by the more formal and significant 
progress of the Emperor himself to Vienna and to Rome, where, 
as also in Sweden and in the South German capitals, he was 
welcomed with great enthusiasm. The solidarity of the 
interests of the three Powers constituting the " League of 
Peace" was emphatically asserted in these interchanges of 
courtesy. An interview between the Emperor and the Pope 
at the Vatican was maladroitly managed either on one side or 
on both, and has weakened the friendly feelings which had of 
late grown up between the German Government and the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

In Austria the necessity of the German, alliance had been 
affirmed by the threatening concentration of Russian troops in 
Galicia, which drew forth a vigorous protest in the Hungarian 
Parliament from M. Tisza, and was met by immediate counter- 
preparations. The situation on the Austrian frontier was 
supposed to be connected with the retirement of Count Moltke 
from his place as Chief of the Staff of the German army, in 
which he was succeeded by General Waldersee, on the ground 
that his great age rendered him unfit for active service at a 
time when war might at any moment break out. The demands 
of the Austrian Government for increased military strength met 
with a cordial response both in Hungary and in the Cisleithan 
provinces, though in the latter the growing restlessness of the 
Czech and other Panslavist elements, headed by such enthusiasts 
as Bishop Strossmeyer, have produced strained relations be- 
tween the Grerman parties, encouraged by the recent visit of 
the Emperor William, and the Ministry of Count Taafi'e. The 
celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Emperor Francis 
Joseph's accession showed that the personal popularity of the 
Sovereign and the moderating influence of the Imperial family 
are still most powerful factors in the Austro-Hungarian polity. 

At the same time the prospects of Austria have not improved 



during the year. The German alliance, notwithstanding some 
bickering between the German and Austrian newspapers, may 
be depended upon, and Russia, though always assuming a 
menacing attitude, is seemingly no nearer to an actual rupture 
than she was twelve months ago. But the smaller States of 
Eastern Europe, which appeared ready to range themselves 
under Austrian leadership in opposition to Russia, are now less 
to be relied upon. In Servia the mismanagement of King 
Milan has thrown a dangerous share of influence into the hands 
of the Radicals and the avowed or unavowed partisans of 
Russia ; the divorce of Queen Natalie has aggravated the dis- 
credit of political weakness, and the revision of the Constitution, 
as well as the irregular measures adopted to avert its immediate 
mischiefs, has so strengthened the factions who look to revolution 
as a stepping-stone to Panslavism that the King's abdication 
has even been spoken of. In Rou mania, the downfall of M. 
Bratiano, whether by his own fault or by the machinations of 
his enemies, has opened the way for a policy influenced by 
Russia, while social and agrarian disturbances have decreased 
the national capacity for resistance. In Bulgaria, though 
Prince Ferdinand has held his own, and though the protest of 
the Porte already referred to has been a brutum fulmen, the 
strife of parties has risen to a perilously violent height, and the 
personal intervention of the Prince was needed in the case of 
Major Popoff to prevent even patriotic Bulgarian statesmen from 
committing a shameful act of injustice. In Greece little has 
occurred worth noting, except the ceremonies on the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of the King's accession and the astonishing dis- 
covery of an accumulation of unacknowledged funds in the 
Treasury. But Greece, which has strengthened her dynastic 
position by the betrothal of the heir to the throne to a Prussian 
Princess, is watching, like Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro, 
the smouldering fires of revolt, aggravated and complicated by 
jealousies of race and creed, which have long been threatening 
to break into flame in Macedonia. Turkey, it is scarcely 
necessary to say, has done nothing to escape from the dangers 
of revolution by carrying out long-promised and much-needed 
reforms in internal government. The minor States of Western 
Europe have been tranquil, and Spain, Belgium, and Denmark 
have striven to give proof of their material progress by the 
Exhibitions at Barcelona, Brussels, and Copenhagen. 


In India the year opened gloomily enough. The financial 
difficulties of the preceding years, due partly to Lord Ripon's 
remissions of taxation, partly to the fall in silver, partly to the 
military expenditure on the North-West frontier and in Burmah, 
had become more urgent, so that, after diverting the famine 
assurance fund and withdrawing part of the resources assigned 
to the provincial governments, it became necessary to increase 
the salt duty and to reimpose the income tax. General regret 
was felt that the closing months of Lord Dufferin's successful 
Viceroyalty — for the resignation of the Governor-General, who 
was raised a step in the peerage and became Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava, was announced early in the year, though it did not 
take effect till within the last few weeks — should have been 
thus darkened. While the continued disturbances in Burmah 
have involved the Indian Government in trouble and expense, 
affairs have gone smoothly in India proper. It is true there 
has been some heartburning between the Hindoo and Ma- 
homedan subjects of the Queen-Empress, and a good deal of 
embarrassment has been caused by the ambitious pretensions 
and even by the exuberant loyalty of the native princes. The 
claims to constitutional recognition put forward on behalf of 
the teeming inarticulate millions of India, comprising an extra- 
ordinary variety of races and creeds, have been conjoined with 
an outbreak of virulent calumny and vituperation in the native 
Press, both traceable to the restless activity of a small section of 
" educated natives," mainly belonging to the weaker races. 

Before resigning the reins of government at Calcutta to Lord 
Lansdowne, who had been appointed his successor. Lord Dufferin 
spoke out strongly on the subject of the so-called native demand 
for self-government, and pointed out that to concede it would be 
to establish in power a privileged class of doubtful fitness, and 
not in any sense to give representative government to India. 
This grave warning may have led to the comparative moderation 
of the " National Congress," which has just concluded its meet- 
ing at Allahabad. The most important question of domestic 
policy in India is, perhaps, insoluble. At least the Report of 
the Commissioners on the Precious Metals, showing an equal 
division of opinion between monometallists and bi-metallists, 
has been able to suggest no comforting solution. 

The Empire has not escaped the worry of "little wars." A 
Pathan tribe, occupying the Black Mountain on the North- West 



frontier, having raided into British territory and attacked 
British troops, were chastised in a troublesome, though suc- 
cessful, expedition during the autumn. A more embarrassing 
task was imposed upon the Viceroy on the Northern frontier, 
where the Tibetans had committed a similar aggression in 
Sikkim, a State under the protection of the Anglo-Indian 
Government. China, which claims supreme power over Tibet, 
while condemning the offence, was opposed to retaliation; 
When at length operations were begun, the Tibetans were 
severely defeated, and an attempt was then once more made, 
at first not very hopefully, but lately with better prospects of 
success, to arrange an amicable settlement through the Chinese, 
though the Anglo-Indian troops hold Gnatong and Gantok till 
a definitive peace is concluded. 

It seemed at one time that much more serious difficulties 
would arise in Afghanistan, where Abdurrahman was threatened 
by his rival Ayoob, whose plans failed, and who is now a 
prisoner in India. It was feared subsequently that a rebellion 
against the Ameer, headed by Ishak Khan, would be turned to 
the advantage of Eussia. Ishak Khan, however, was beaten 
and took to flight, and Abdurrahman's power is for the time 
unchallenged. The watchful jealousy of Russia about anything 
that may strengthen British predominance in Asia has broken 
out significantly in the outcry against the results of Sir Henry 
Wolff's influence at the Persian Court, and especially the open- 
ing up of the Karun river, and consequently of access to the 
interior from the Persian Gulf, to the trade, not of England 
only, but of all nations. 

The position of England in Egypt, closely connected as it is 
with the interests of the Indian Empire, is regulated by inter- 
national engagements which have recently been in practical 
abeyance. It is generally recognised that Egypt has not 
reached such a position of security, either internally or ex- 
ternally, as to dispense with British supervision. Nubar Pasha, 
who was no favourite with the Khedive, and who had shown a 
disposition to put aside Sir Evelyn Baring's advice, has been 
succeeded as Premier by Riaz Pasha, but no remarkable change 
of policy has been the result. The part taken by Sir William 
Marriott, while holding office at home as Judge Advocate- 
General, in bringing about a settlement of the claims of the 
ex-Khedive Ismail upon the Egyptian Government was criticised 


in Parliament ; but the arrangement appears to be a reasonable 
and a practical one. It is to be feared tbat Sir Edgar Vincent's 
efforts to place the Egyptian finances on a steady basis may be 
counteracted by the effect of a low Nile and by the pressure of 
the Dervishes, representing the fighting force of the Mahdi's 
successor, both at Wady Haifa and at Suakin. 

Wild hopes had been excited by rumours of the appearance 
of a " White Pasha," variously conjectured to be Emin Pasha or 
Stanley, on the upper waters of the Nile, who, it was thought, 
might break down the Mahdist power at Khartoum, and join 
hands with the Anglo-Egyptians either on the north or on the 
east. Gloomier reports, it is true, more recently prevailed. 
The Mahdists asserted that Emin Pasha and a white traveller 
had fallen into their hands, and, though their testimony was 
highly suspicious, it was admitted that there was grave reason 
for alarm. For more than a year nothing had been heard of 
Stanley, who had started by the Congo route to relieve Emin 
Pasha at Wadelai, and the destruction of his rear-guard under 
Major Barttelot was of ill omen. The most recent accounts, as 
yet unconfirmed but eminently probable, point decidedly to the 
meeting of Stanley and Emin, and their actual safety. 

Meanwhile the Dervishes under Osman Digna had been 
pressing Suakin hard, and the Government consented, on the 
appeal of the British ofiicers in Egypt, to send British troops 
there to reinforce the Egyptian garrison. In deference to 
remonstrances in and out of Parliament a larger force was 
despatched than General Grenfell had asked for, and a brilliant 
victory over the Dervishes was won, the black Egyptian troops 
especially fighting bravely. 

It is, however, a subject of general and just complaint that 
this country seems to have no clear and settled policy except 
that of holding a position which, if abandoned, would be seized 
by some other European Power, under the impulse which has 
led the Italians to establish themselves at Massowah and the 
Germans on the coast near Zanzibar. Italy has been involved 
in a troublesome and costly war with the Abyssinians, and has 
suffered more than one disaster, but has not been shaken in her 
possession of Massowah. The results of the imperious diplomacy 
of Germany, by which she induced the Sultan of Zanzibar to 
surrender to a German company a valuable stretch of coast- 
line and a proportionate " sphere of predominance " inland, have 


been jeopardised by a revolt of the Arabs, in the interests, it is 
asserted, of the slave-trade. The position of the Germans is 
precarious, and must in some degree affect the British East 
Africa Company. The quarrel has also produced grave alarm 
among the British missionaries, who have done so much to 
introduce the elements of civilisation, not only along the coast, 
but in the interior. Public opinion in Europe had been moved 
by the crusade against the slave-traders preached by Cardinal 
de Lavigerie, and this country, together with Germany, Italy, 
and Portugal, has agreed, in spite of some technical objections 
on the part of France, to establish a blockade of the East Coast 
of Africa and prevent the import of arms and the export of 

The jealousy excited by the " scramble for Africa " extends 
to every portion of the Continent. It is visible in speculations 
about the future of Tripoli, Morocco, and the Congo State, 
as well as in the anxiety shown by English merchants and Cape 
colonists in regard to the schemes for connecting the Transvaal 
with Delagoa Bay by a railway actually, if not ostensibly, under 
German or Dutch control. In view of the danger of a further 
extension of Boer domination in Zululand, the Government 
were compelled to interfere to put down an insurrection in that 
country under Cetywayo's son, Dinizulu, which had caused 
some alarm in Natal. After some vexatious delays, due to the 
inadequacy of the force employed, the insurgents were defeated 
and Dinizulu was taken prisoner. The result will probably be 
the consolidation of British power over all Zululand outside the 
limits of the Boer Kepublic. At the Cape the pressure in 
favour of annexation on the side of Bechuanaland must also be 
reckoned with. 

Imperial Federation has become a popular doctrine, and the 
efforts of Lord Kosebery and other politicians of both parties to 
arouse public enthusiasm in its favour have at least drawn 
attention to the present value and the future development of our 
colonies. But while the organisation in the mother country 
evades difficulties by the vagueness of its declarations of policy, 
events and controversies in the colonies have shown of what 
kind those difficulties may be found in practice to be. On the 
question of Chinese immigration, for instance, which has been 
much agitated throughout Australia during the year, and which 
was considered at a conference at Sydney, the views of the 
VOL. II 2 b 


colonists differ widely from those prevailing at home. Queens- 
land has declined to ratify the Naval Defence Bill, which has 
been adopted by the other Australian Governments, as well as 
by the Imperial Parliament, and has since compelled the with- 
drawal of Sir Henry Blake, whose appointment as Governor had 
been announced, and in whose place Sir Henry Norman has 
been nominated. 

In British North America questions of a different nature, but 
not less embarrassing, have arisen, partly out of the complicated 
machinery of the federal system, and partly out of the disturb- 
ing influence of the United States. Lord Stanley of Preston, 
who succeeded Lord Lansdowne as Governor-General of the 
Canadian Dominion, finds many anxious problems awaiting 
him. The squabble between the Canadian Pacific Railway 
Company, supported by the Dominion Government, and the 
Provincial Government of Manitoba, which favoured the opening 
of direct railway connection between the Eed Eiver district and 
the railway system of the United States, led to a threatening 
conflict, in which both sides seemed ready to appeal to arms, and, 
though a collision has been averted, the causes of jealousy re- 
main. The movement for a commercial union with the United 
States, which may be regarded as an alternative policy to that 
of fiscal reciprocity with the mother country, received a check 
in the Dominion Parliament, but it has an active body of sup- 
porters, and the stringent measures threatened under the name 
of retaliation by the Government at Washington, since the 
Fisheries dispute has been once more opened up, are perhaps 
intended to reinforce this party. On the other hand, the 
advocates of Imperial Federation have not been idle. The 
Dominion Government has consented, at their instance, to 
summon a conference, representing all the self-governing 
colonies, to consider the commercial and fiscal relations of the 
different parts of the Empire. 

Much disappointment has been caused in Canada by the 
refusal of the Republican majority in the Senate of the United 
States to ratify the treaty, provisionally concluded at Washing- 
ton in the spring, between Mr. Bayard, acting for the American 
Government, and Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Charles Tupper, 
representing the Imperial and Canadian Governments. It was 
felt that it was worth while to make large concessions, in order 
to put an end to a controversy which fostered both dangerous local 



conflicts and embarrassing international jealousies. The loss of 
the treaty threw back Canada upon the arrangement of 1818, 
which the Americans consider onerous and unfair, but which 
cannot be surrendered without, at least, the abandonment in 
return of extravagant claims. 

It was hoped that the American Government would abide 
by the modits viveiidi previously arranged, but the Presidential 
election was at hand, and Mr. Cleveland was determined not to 
give his opponents the opportunity of denouncing him as a 
friend of England. Though the treaty had been supported by 
his own party, he made its rejection by the Republican majority 
in the Senate the excuse for sending a message to Congress 
recommending retaliatory measures against Canada. No steps 
have been hitherto taken in this direction, and the result of the 
Presidential contest diminished the importance of the Message. 

Mr. Cleveland was chosen, without opposition, as the Demo- 
cratic candidate for the Presidency, but the Republican Con- 
vention, divided between the half-recognised claims of Mr. 
Blaine and the bitter hostility to his nomination in many 
powerful quarters, showed much more hesitation in its choice, 
which fell at last on General Harrison, of Indiana. The tariff 
question, raised in an imperfect form by the abortive " Mills " 
Bill, was the main issue, though Mr. Cleveland's views, which 
he has reiterated since his defeat, were clearer and stronger than 
those of his party. The Republicans relied on their appeals 
not only to Protectionist interests, but to popular prejudices 
In order to discredit Mr. Cleveland and the Democrats, a trap 
was laid for Lord Sackville, the British Minister at Washington, 
who was induced to write a private letter to a soi-disant 
Englishman, expressing the opinion that Mr. Cleveland's policy 
was not really hostile to England. The Republican outcry, 
which this trick was devised to justify, was as absurd as it was 
insincere ; but Lord Sackville, unfortunately, repeated his 
offence, such as it was, in an interview with the reporter of a 
newspaper, and gave the Democrats an opportunity of playing 
what they thought a good card. 

Mr. Cleveland and his Secretary of State, Mr. Bayard, outdid 
their rivals by hastily preferring a complaint to the British 
Government, and then, without offering any evidence except 
the telegrams in the newspapers, or allowing time for inquiry 
in this country, rudely declaring that Lord Sackville could no 


longer be received as the British representative at Washington. 
This act of international discourtesy did not bring good fortune 
to the Democratic cause. In the elections of 6th November the 
Kepublicans carried New York, in which the Democrats were 
hampered by feuds and intrigues within the party, and all the 
rest of the Northern States, except New Jersey and Connecticut, 
General Harrison thus obtaining 233 electoral votes against 168 
secured for Mr. Cleveland. In the House of Eepresentatives, 
hitherto Democratic, the Kepublicans will have probably a small 
majority in March next, and they will also be strengthened in 
the Senate. For the time the Protectionist policy is triumphant. 
The obituary of the year contains several eminent names, 
though few of the highest distinction. We have already noticed 
the deaths of the Emperors William and Frederick in Germany. 
At home the most remarkable losses have been those of Lord 
Eversley, for many years the Speaker of the House of Commons, 
before that body had begun to decline ; Sir Henry Maine, a 
courageous thinker and a powerful writer on all questions of 
political theory and scientific jurisprudence ; Mr. Matthew 
Arnold, an admirable poet and a penetrating, though too 
fastidious, critic ; Mr. Laurence Oliphant, whose brilliant, 
though eccentric, genius is not adequately represented by his 
published works ; and Mr. Frank HoU, perhaps the most 
forcible of our portrait painters. 

Among other deaths we may mention those of the Duke of 
Rutland, who was succeeded by his brother, so well known as 
Lord John Manners ; the Duchess of Sutherland ; Lord Lucan, 
whose name is associated with the Balaclava charge ; Lord 
Devon ; Lord Mount-Temple ; Sir Frederick Pollock, whose 
entertaining Reminiscences were published not long ago ; Sir 
Robert Garden ; Sir Richard Baggallay, formerly Lord Justice 
of Appeal ; and another ex- Judge of high merit, Sir H. Keating ; 
Dr. Burgon, Dean of Chichester ; Dr. Jellett, the Provost of 
Trinity College, Dublin ; and the Rev. G. Gleig, long the 
Chaplain-General of the army. Colonel King-Harman, Colonel 
Duncan, and Mr. Henry Richard will be missed from the House 
of Commons ; literature in various departments has to mourn 
the loss of Mrs. Proctor, the widow of " Barry Cornwall," and 
of Mary Howitt, two links with a bygone time ; of Sir Francis 
Doyle, Professor Bonamy Price, Mr. Cotter Morison, Mr. W. G. 
Pal grave, Professor Leone Levi, Mr. Richard Proctor, and Mr. 



G. S. Yenables ; Sir Charles Bright, the electrician ; Dr. Latham, 
the ethnologist, and Mr. Jameson, the naturalist, have left gaps 
in the ranks of science ; while in the official world, besides 
some named above. Admiral Hewett and Admiral Cooper Key, 
Sir Anthony Musgrave, Sir Ronald Thomson, and Mr. Rothery, 
the Wreck Commissioner, have passed away. 

Abroad there are not many remarkable deaths to record. In 
France the President's father, M. H. Carnot, died at a great age, 
as well as M. Duclerc, a former Premier ; Bazaine and Lebceuf, 
two Marshals identified with the disasters of 1870 ; the Due de 
Padoue, a leader of the Bonapartists ; Boulanger, the painter ; 
Monselet, the critic ; Labiche, the dramatist ; and Raj on, the 

Italy has lost the Count di Robilant, Ambassador at the 
English Court, and his predecessor, Count Corti, who retired a 
year ago, as well as Signor Mancini, a distinguished jurist and 

In the United States General Sheridan, one of the heroes of 
the Civil War, has passed away ; and in Russia Count Loris 
MelikoflF, who, at a critical time, was called to the task of 
grappling with Nihilism. The President of the Orange Free 
State, Sir J. H. Brand, and the Sultan of Zanzibar were 
known, in their several spheres, as staunch and faithful allies 
of this country. 


Except that the year 1889 is marked as the centenary of the 
French Revolution and of the International Exhibition which 
commemorated that great event, there is little in its records to 
command a permanent place in history. It has been character- 
ised at home by a continuance of political stagnation and a 
revival of commercial activity ; the relative position of parties 
has not been materially altered, though the more aggressive 
attitude assumed by the spokesmen of labour towards capital 
and the interests connected with it have begun to inspire some 
anxiety for the future. Abroad the status quo has been pre- 
served in Europe, and, indeed, it might have been said, all over 
the world, had it not been for the unexpected and easy over- 
throw of the Empire of Brazil ; but it can hardly be affirmed 
that the sense of unrest engendered by the presence of immense 
and increasing armies has in any way abated. 

The commercial revival has not been confined to this country, 
where its development has been to some extent interfered with 
by the recurrent conflicts in the labour market. The harvest, 
which down to the end of June gave promise of being far above 
the average, sufi'ered severely from the bad weather of July and 
August, and though, happily, the worst anticipations were by no 
means realised, the disappointment of the farmers reacted gener- 
ally on trade. Still the evidence of progress and prosperity was 
indisputable. The growth of railway traffic, of the Post Office 
revenues, and of the savings banks deposits, as well as the 
receipts from taxation, both direct and indirect, must be regarded 
as thoroughly satisfactory. The rapid rise in the price of Govern- 
ment securities and other sound investments and the great in- 
crease in the amount of capital poured into new undertakings 


show that the frugality enforced by " hard times " has accumu- 
lated resources for the future. At the same time industry and 
commerce, in view of keen and aggressive foreign competition, 
cannot hope for the return of those advances " by leaps and 
bounds " over which Mr. Gladstone was able to exult during his 
first administration. 

The improvement in business, however, was suflficiently 
marked to induce a large section of the working men to look 
for higher wages, and the movement was controlled to a great 
extent by those who had more ambitious schemes of political 
and social reform in view. There had been some preliminary 
skirmishing before the strike of the dock labourers, which began 
in August and which was stimulated by public sympathy with 
the sufferings of unskilled labour, brought to light by the Parlia- 
mentary inquiry into the " sweating " system, as well as by the 
unpopularity of the dock authorities in commercial circles. The 
demands of the ordinary " dockers " for an increase of wages 
from 5d. to 6d. an hour and the abolition of the contract system 
were soon supported by other classes of labourers — porters, 
stevedores, firemen, carmen, lightermen, and watermen — of whom 
some had grievances of their own, while others struck to help 
the dockers. Subscriptions were opened, demonstrations were 
held in Hyde Park and elsewhere, and influential interests 
among the shipowners, wharfingers, and brokers, alarmed at the 
stoppage of trade, navigation, and industry, strove to bring 
about a compromise that would bring back the strikers, over 
100,000 in number, to work. 

The Dock Committee, after deciding not to embitter the 
struggle by bringing in foreign labour, made what the leaders of 
the strike deemed an inadequate off"er, to which they replied by 
an indiscreet manifesto ordering a general strike. This had to 
be withdrawn, but the effect on public opinion remained, and, 
in spite of large contributions received from Australia and else- 
where the movement was morally weakened. The Lord Mayor, 
Cardinal Manning, and the Bishop of London organised a Com- 
mittee of Conciliation at the Mansion House, and after several 
unsuccessful attempts to negotiate, in one of which the Committee 
were compelled to reprehend severely an apparent want of good 
faith shown by Mr. Burns and Mr. Tillett, the representatives of 
the men on strike, an arrangement was agreed to by the Dock 
Companies, to come into force on the 4 th of November, practi- 


cally including the demands originally put forward, but insisting 
that the non-strikers should not be molested. In spite of the 
influence of Mr. Burns, who, notwithstanding some mistakes, had 
endeavoured to avert appeals to violence, this understanding was 
not loyally observed when the dockers had returned to work. 

Various sporadic strikes occurred, or were threatened, among 
the tailors, the bakers, and the tramway and omnibus men, all 
asking for more pay and shorter hours, in which they were 
generally successful. A similar movement among the guttapercha 
workmen at Silvertown collapsed after a long and ruinous strife, 
and one among the postmen was discouraged by the labour 
party. A still more serious danger seemed to menace London 
when the gas stokers of the South Metropolitan Company " went 
out" because the directors had introduced a system of profit 
sharing, which the men thought would strike a fatal blow at 
their Union. The men were supported by the coal porters and 
seamen ; but the company stood firm, brought in new men in 
large numbers, and, despite predictions of failure, continued to 
supply the means of public and private lighting without serious 
difficulty or inconvenience. The same result followed a similar 
struggle in Manchester. The threat to plunge a vast urban 
community into darkness, and in furtherance of this design to 
stop the coal traffic by the aid of the coal porters and firemen, 
has produced a strong reaction against the organisers of these 
strikes, which, if extended and persisted in, must disastrously 
check the revival of trade. 

The labour agitation is a symptom of the stirring in all social 
questions, which must be reckoned with in politics. The elections 
to the London County Council at the beginning of the year were 
fought by the Eadical party on political issues, while the moderate 
section generally strove to exclude politics. A large " Progres- 
sive " majority was returned, pledged to various " social reforms," 
with most of which the Council has no power to deal under the 
Local Government Act. This party was further strengthened 
by the co-optation of eighteen aldermen, of whom one only was 
a " Moderate." A beneficial restraint was imposed by the choice 
of Lord Eosebery as chairman, with Sir John Lubbock as 
vice-chairman. Mr. Firth was appointed to the deputy-chair- 
manship, a salaried office, since vacated by Mr. Firth's death at 
Chamounix in the autumn, and filled again by the election of 
Mr. Haggis. Though an increase of the rates was inevitable, 


the Council joined in resisting successfully the renewal of the 
Coal Dues. 

Lord Kosebery's influence saved the Council from many 
follies, and contributed to the popularity of a new Two-and-a- 
Half per Cent Loan of £1,000,000, offered to tender at a 
minimum price of 88 and taken up at over 91^. A well- 
intentioned but fussy interference with music-hall performances 
was approved by a committee, but was promptly checked for 
this year by the members at large. A scheme for taxing 
"betterments," or seizing the "unearned increment" of value 
for the ratepayers, where improvements had been made out of 
the rates, not only appears highly questionable, but must un- 
doubtedly depend on the decision of Parliament, and not on the 
claims of any local body. The apparent victory of Radical ideas 
at the London County Council elections accentuated the eager- 
ness of the Opposition in pushing forward social questions, while 
Home Rule, though Mr. Gladstone still gave his whole mind to 
it, was allowed to slip into a secondary place. 

The housing of the poor, the taxation of ground-rents, the 
right to the " unearned increment," the abolition of elementary 
school fees, the limitation of the hours of labour, and similar 
topics began to be habitually discussed on political platforms. 
To these were added, as the bye-elections transferred three or 
four doubtful seats from the Unionist to the Separatist side, the 
main pillars of a new Reform Bill — the adoption of the " one 
man one vote " principle, by sweeping away the small share of 
electoral power that had been left to property by the changes of 
1885, and the repeal of the Septennial Act. At the same time 
the movements for disestablishment and for Home Rule in 
Wales and Scotland were growing louder, if not weightier, and 
Mr. Gladstone was sharply rebuked by the Welsh Radicals for 
hesitating to vote with Mr, Dillwyn. During a political tour in 
the South- Western counties Mr. Gladstone yielded the required 
assurances, and intimated that all sectional interests which 
would unite to give him a majority might hope to employ that 
instrument, after he had made use of it to carry Home Rule, 
for securing their own ends. 

Meanwhile it had become evident that the original proposal 
to exclude the Irish members from the Westminster Parliament 
had been abandoned, and that Home Rule, now claimed by 
Welsh and Scotch Gladstonians, must imply either a complete 


reconstruction of the United Kingdom on the federal system or 
the reduction of England to a position of scandalous inequality. 
The issue was grappled with at once by the Unionists, who 
carried on an active platform warfare throughout the year, 
Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain showing especial energy, 
though followed close, despite the demands of official work, by 
Mr. Balfour — who undertook the task of exposing Mr. Glad- 
stone's incessant misstatements about Irish affairs — by Mr. 
Goschen, and by Lord Salisbury himself. Sir William 
Harcourt, Mr. Morley, and Lord Rosebery were most conspicu- 
ous on the other side. Taking their cue from Mr. Gladstone, 
they all evaded the question whether or not Home Rule meant 
federalism, which, indeed, to this hour remains unanswered, 
except for the significant fact that the Scottish Gladstonian 
caucus has declared for a federal plan, notwithstanding Lord 
Rosebery's protest. They were not equally reticent about the 
proceedings before the Special Commission — in which, as Mr. 
Parnell's allies, they were personally interested — anticipating 
the conclusions of the judges and making charges, in a manner 
without precedent in this country, against persons whose mouths 
were closed by a decent respect for justice. For our own part, 
as the report of the Commission has not yet been issued, we 
think it proper to maintain the silence we have observed all 
along till we have a right to speak. 

It is only necessary to state here that the Commission con- 
tinued to sit practically from the beginning to the end of the 
year. It closed its sittings in Court on the 22nd of November, 
having met in all on 129 days and examined some 500 
witnesses. Months before, the Gladstonians had taken it upon 
them to declare that the charges the judges were investigating 
had been disproved, and to welcome Mr. Parnell among them 
as a conquering hero. A narrow majority in the Town 
Council of Edinburgh persisted in conferring upon him the 
freedom of the city, in the teeth of an informal canvass of 
the citizens, which showed an immense preponderance of opinion 
on the other side. Mr. Parnell on this occasion spoke with a 
studied moderation, which was even more remarkable in his 
speeches at Nottingham and Liverpool later in the year, when 
also he was Mr. Gladstone's guest at Hawarden. 

The Gladstonians, in fact, showed themselves more 
Parnellite than Mr. Parnell ; they not only magnified Home 


Rule, but denounced every attempt to enforce the law in 
Ireland, Lord Spencer and Sir George Trevelyan taking an 
ignominious pleasure in attacking Mr. Balfour for what they 
had done themselves. The result was that the two sections of 
the Unionists were drawn more and more closely together ; 
Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain, seeing the gulf that 
separated them from the apologists of anarchy, and recognising 
the willingness of the Conservatives to carry out what not long 
ago would have been deemed a more than Liberal policy, began 
to talk of the possibilities of a National party. The idea has 
already become familiar, and its acceptance has been doubtless 
quickened in many minds by the difficulties of working 
together with two independent organisations, which is believed 
to have had a large share in the Unionist losses at the bye- 
elections. At the Conference of the Conservative organisations 
at Nottingham a resolution in favour of forming a National 
party was carried by a great majority, and Lord Salisbury not 
only gave his approval to the suggestion, though he said that it 
could take effect only through the spontaneous action of the 
rank and file, but stated that he was willing to resign the office 
of Premier if that would facilitate the fusion. From more 
recent declarations of the Liberal Unionist leaders it appears 
that, while no immediate necessity is believed to exist for 
taking formal steps in this direction, the contingency is regarded 
as possible, and, in certain circumstances, desirable. 

Mr. Gladstone's chagrin at the complete emancipation from 
his influence of the Liberal Unionists has heightened his 
rhetorical exultation over the bye-elections, from which he 
argues that the next general election — he has now entered on 
his eighty -first year and the present Parliament is only 
three years and a half old — will give him a great majority 
and crush his opponents to powder. This is a large inference 
to draw from so narrow a basis of induction as the fact that 
within the past twelve months the Separatists have won five 
seats — in Govan, Kennington, Rochester, Peterborough, and 
North Bucks. The transfer of five votes on a division is not an 
insignificant matter, but it cannot be accepted as proof that 
the constituencies on the next appeal will reverse the verdict 
of 1886. 

The Unionists, too, can reflect with satisfaction on the 
repulse of Sir Robert Peel's attempt to capture Brighton, and 


still more on the contest for the seat vacated by Mr. Bright's 
death in Birmingham, where the Unionist alliance emerged 
triumphant from a severe trial. The dispute which then arose 
between the Liberal Unionists and the Conservatives of 
Birmingham, as to whether the latter had not a right to more 
than one seat out of seven, has been referred to the decision 
of Lord Salisbury and Lord Hartington. Lord Eandolph 
Churchill's eccentric course has possibly been effected by the 
refusal of the Liberal Unionists to allow him to step into Mr. 
Bright's place. He has, on occasions, spoken out boldly for the 
Union, but, again, emulating the coquetry of the Gladstonians 
with Socialism, he has taunted his own party with not out- 
bidding their opponents, and only the other day he declared for 
the principle of the Eight Hours Bill, which Mr. Morley had 
repeatedly rejected, and which Mr. Gladstone, in spite of a 
direct challenge from the Socialists, had, at the Manchester 
Conference of the National Liberal Federation, passed over in 
absolute silence. It is to be noted that Lord Salisbury, while 
pointing out the injurious effect of limiting the hours of work 
by law, disclaimed the wish to oppose all measures tending to 
State Socialism, and, in particular, announced that he had been 
converted to the principle of Free Education. 

Ireland has, on the whole, enjoyed a larger share of peace 
and prosperity than has fallen to her lot for years. The Crimes 
Act was firmly, but temperately, administered ; agrarian 
outrage rapidly diminished in spite of incitements applied, with 
decreasing boldness and effect, it is true, by the party of 
disorder, many of whom seemed to have had a surfeit of the 
glories of martyrdom ; and even boycotting, of which the 
Gladstonians constituted themselves the apologists, relaxed its 
pressure. A rise in agricultural prices and a good harvest had 
a share in this improvement, which was shown as well by the 
criminal statistics as by the avidity with which applications to 
the full extent of the grant under the Ashbourne Act were 
made by tenants desirous of purchasing their holdings, and 
this notwithstanding the efforts both of professional agitators 
and of political ecclesiastics like Archbishop Walsh. 

The Plan of Campaign was not carried further on the 
original basis, and on some properties where it had been 
adopted was visibly breaking down, but a violent struggle was 
prolonged on Mr. Olphert's estate near Gweedore, in Donegal, 



where Father M'Fadden led the resistance, and on Mr. Pon- 
sonby's estate near Youghal, in East Cork. Father M'Fadden's 
attempts to evade arrest for inciting to non-payment of rent led 
to an attack on the police in the Derrybeg chapelyard on 
3rd February, in which District-Inspector Martin was brutally 
murdered, and later in the year Captain Plunkett, one of the 
ablest of the Irish police magistrates, died from the effects of 
a blow on the head, received twelve months before in a riot 
of the same sort at Youghal. The landlords, both in Donegal 
and in Cork, offered most liberal terms for the sake of peace, 
which the tenants would have gladly accepted had not the 
League interfered. When, on the other hand, Mr. Ponsonby 
was supported, as fighting for the common interest, by a 
syndicate of landlords, at the head of which was Mr. Smith 
Barry, the tenants of the latter in Tipperary, tradesmen in 
town as well as peasants, were ordered to pay no rent, and 
those who refused to obey — for none of them had any quarrel 
with their landlord — were compelled, under the penalties of 
boycotting, to join the movement. 

These tactics the Gladstonians, openly or tacitly, approved, 
reserving all their indignation for the imprisonment of Mr. 
O'Brien, Mr. Conybeare, and other organisers of a system of 
mingled violence and fraud. The dread, however, of coming 
openly into conflict with the law and the necessity for raising 
funds, ostensibly for legal objects, to replace the waning 
subscriptions from America since the revelations in the Cronin 
case, have brought about the formation of a new Tenants' 
Defence League, of which Mr. Parnell, now contemplating Irish 
politics, as he has lately stated, from the impartial position of a 
looker-on, has assumed the sponsorship. The resolution of the 
Government to put down terrorism in every shape may assist 
in confining the League, under its last disguise, within the 
bounds of legality, but, in that case, how are the " campaigners " 
to be aided in holding their illegal position ? The vindication 
of the law at the Maryborough trials, where several persons 
implicated in the riot that led to Inspector Martin's murder 
pleaded guilty on the charge of manslaughter, and received 
heavy sentences, was, as usual, denounced by the Opposition, 
in order to damage the character of the Attorney-General, who 
had administered the Crimes Act with fearlessness and success, 
and has now been promoted to the Irish Chief Justiceship, in 


place of Sir Micliael Morris, who has become a Lord of Appeal. 
Impartial evidence, however, showed that the trials were 
perfectly fair, and the contention of the Gladstonians that the 
law in Ireland differs from that of England becomes absurd, in 
face of the recent conviction at the Liverpool assizes for the 
boycotting of Irish cattle at Salford, and the prompt dismissal 
by a Manchester jury of Mr. William O'Brien's libel action 
against Lord Salisbury. 

The Viceroyalty became vacant in the autumn by the 
retirement of Lord Londonderry, who had filled the office 
creditably for three years. He has been succeeded by Lord 
Zetland, who has just met with a cordial reception in Dublin. 
Mr. Balfour, happily, remains at the helm, and has no intention 
of leaving it while the policy, at once firm and generous, 
which he has set before him is incomplete. Much criticism 
and hostility had been aroused by his suggestion, at the close 
of the session, that the higher education of the majority of the 
Irish might be assisted by the endowment of a Roman Catholic 
College, and he has admitted himself that it cannot be carried 
out except under conditions of general goodwill that are for 
the time wanting. No such difficulties threaten the proposed 
extension of the creation of Irish peasant owners by State 
aid upon the voluntary system. This measure, on which 
the Cabinet has been recently engaged, will be pushed 
forward next session, and will be opposed only by those 
whose opposition, as hostile to any settlement, is to be taken 
as a matter of course. 

Among the non-political topics which were discussed during 
the year, the state of the national defences was prominent. The 
avowed intention of the Government to strengthen the navy 
met with some adverse criticism on the part of the Opposition, 
though no attempt was made to follow up the attack in 
Parliament Public opinion was decidedly in favour of the 
Ministerial policy, and steadily refused to be drawn aside by 
schemes for building fortifications or reorganising land forces. 
The sinking of the ironclad Sultan, near Malta, was a warning 
that no addition to our naval strength could make up for lack 
of prudence or seamanship, and the lesson ought not to be 
neglected either because of the subsequent raising of the vessel 
by a firm of contractors or because Captain Kane's brilliant 
feat in bringing the Calliope safely out of the hurricane at 


Samoa proves that the qualities desired are still forthcoming 
when the need arises. There has been much controversy 
about the type of ships to be built, but on the whole the judg- 
ment of experts has been in favour of the plans adopted by the 
Admiralty. The naval manceuvres of the autumn were, in these 
circumstances, followed with peculiar interest. The presence 
of the German Emperor at the Spithead Eeview was observed 
with much satisfaction in this country, as were also the marked 
compliments which His Majesty subsequently paid to an 
English squadron that visited German waters. 

The strength of the army was less frequently discussed, 
though Lord Wolseley's outspoken complaints at Oxford against 
the consequences of yielding to the pressure of unpatriotic 
politicians attracted a good deal of attention. An important 
movement for the better equipment of the Metropolitan 
Volunteers was started by Sir James Whitehead, then Lord 
Mayor, in the summer. 

The Courts have dealt with several cases raising grave 
questions of ecclesiastical law, such as the jurisdiction of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury in the proceedings against the 
Bishop of Lincoln, the right of the Bishop of London to exercise 
a discretionary power in the St. Paul's reredos case, and the 
suspension of the Vicar of Hoo for refusing the sacrament to a 
parishioner on the ground of alleged " schism." The campaign 
against the payment of tithes in Wales has been carried on 
with the encouragement of Sir William Harcourt and other 
Gladstonians, and with a practical adoption of Parnellite 
methods of action. 

In the ordinary Courts the trial of Mrs. Maybrick for the 
murder of her husband resulted in a conviction which was 
accompanied by a scandalous exhibition of public excitement, 
and a conviction was also secured in the trial of Laurie for the 
Arran murder ; but in both cases the mercy of the Crown was 
extended to the criminals. The dispute between Sir George 
Chetwynd and Lord Durham was referred to the arbitration of 
Mr. Lowther and two other assessors, and the award, though 
acquitting the plaintiff of personal wrongdoing, was held to 
justify in the main the defendant's strictures. The attempt to 
murder a County Court Judge by a disappointed suitor, a 
foreigner, is a new form of crime in England. The visit of the 
Shah of Persia attracted much less notice than in 1873. The 


"social reform" movement has made itself felt not only in 
Sir Edward Guinness's munificent gift of a quarter of a million 
sterling to provide improved dwellings for the poor of London 
and Dublin, but in the efforts of private persons to bring the 
existing law into operation against the owners of insanitary 

Alarms about the public health have been not infrequent. 
The spread of leprosy is being inquired into by a Commission 
of Experts ; the increase of rabies in dogs led to a " muzzling 
order," issued by the Privy Council, which the London County 
Council declined to carry out, and which was then enforced 
by the police ; and, as the year closes, it is feared that the 
influenza epidemic which has swept over the Continent is 
gaining a footing among us. 

France, though no longer the mainspring of European 
politics, has been once more " the cynosure of neighbouring 
eyes." When the year opened the Republic seemed to be in 
the greatest danger, and there was a prospect that the torrent 
of accumulated discontent would bear General Boulanger to 
supreme power on its swelling crest. The feebleness of some 
of the Republican leaders and the violence of others provoked 
the distrust which found expression in the Paris election, when 
the "plebiscitary candidate" was returned by a majority of 
245,000 against 162,000 recorded for his Radical opponent. 
While the Government was staggering under this blow, the 
collapse of the Panama Canal Company, almost immediately 
followed by the breakdown of the speculative efforts to keep 
up the price of copper, and by the consequent difiiculties of the 
Comptoir d'Escompte, gave a shake to public credit and inflicted 
grievous losses upon individuals. 

France has struggled manfully with these misfortunes and 
has overcome them. General Boulanger's pretensions were 
first attacked by M. Floquet's Cabinet in a measure substituting 
scrutin d' arrondissement once again for scrutin de liste, and this 
stroke was followed up by orders for the General's prosecution, 
on the mere rumour of which he fled to Belgium, and subse- 
quently to England. Nevertheless M. Floquet and his 
colleagues did not command confidence, and their fall on a side 
issue occasioned no surprise. After many difficulties and 
delays M. Tirard succeeded in forming a Cabinet of no pro- 
nounced political colour, with the principal object, as it was 


understood, of presiding over the Exhibition and preparing for 
a dissolution in the autumn. But it turned out that M. 
Constans and some of his colleagues were "fighting Ministers," 
and when General Boulanger's flight betrayed his sense of 
weakness the Departments of the Interior and of Justice began 
an active campaign, which has been vindicated by a complete 
victory. The prosecution of the General, with his adherents, 
M. Eochefort and M. Dillon, hung fire for some time, but at 
length the Senate, constituted as a High Court of Justice, 
found all the accused guilty and sentenced them in their 
absence to deportation. Some doubt still rests on the truth 
of the charges, and in minor matters it was admitted that 
mistakes had been made, but the Government were successful 
in the main point, which was to keep the General out of France 
and to discredit him with the masses. 

Meanwhile the Exhibition was opened in May, immediately 
after the celebration of the centenary of the meeting of the 
States General ; and though the chief Governments of the 
civilised world, excepting the United States and Switzerland, 
declined to take part in an avowed demonstration against 
Monarchy, public curiosity brought visitors, both French and 
foreigners, to Paris in greater crowds than on any former 
occasion. Even the Eiffel Tower, against which a vain protest 
had been made on aesthetic grounds, became extraordinarily 
popular. The Prince of Wales, the King of Greece, the Shah, 
and other illustrious personages were among the visitors, who 
were computed to have reached in all the enormous number of 
6,500,000, nearly one-fourth coming from foreign countries. 

The success of the Exhibition and the condemnation of 
General Boulanger encouraged the Government to strike while 
the iron was hot. In September the appeal to the constituencies 
was hastened on, and M. Constans used with vigour and, it is 
alleged, without scruple all the well-known resources of the 
Ministry of the Interior to secure the triumph of his party. 
On the other hand, a close alliance was formed between the 
Boulangists, the Bonapartists, and the various sections of the 
Monarchists, and the Comte de Paris issued a manifesto, which 
was severely criticised, calling on his friends, where they had 
no candidates of their own, to vote for the General's supporters. 
The internal feuds among the Republicans were suppressed 
during the electoral period, and the result showed that France 
VOL. II 2 c 


was not in favour of a policy of agitation and adventure. The 
Republicans returned 325 members to the new Chamber, while 
all sections of the Opposition had only 246, of whom not more 
than 41 were Boulangists. The first act of the new Assembly 
was to reject a proposal for the revision of the Constitution by 
345 against 123 votes, and the strengthening of the Moderate 
Republicans held out the hope that a truce of parties might 
end in bringing over reasonable Conservatives to the cause of 
the Republic. The majority, however, have been invalidating 
the elections of their opponents, including that of General 
Boulanger himself, in a manner that gives little promise of 
peace, and the financial difficulties of the Government are likely 
to become pressing in the coming year. 

The foreign policy of France has been unusually subdued and 
modest. She refused, indeed, in a churlish spirit to assent to 
the scheme for the reduction of the interest on the Egyptian 
Preference Debt from 5 to 4 per cent, which had been arranged 
by Sir Edgar Vincent before he resigned the office of Financial 
Adviser to the Khedive to assume the direction of the Ottoman 
Bank. The other Powers were prepared to-agree, but France 
insisted on a pledge of immediate evacuation by England, 
which, in presence of the threatening movements of the 
"Dervishes" on the Upper Nile, was absurd. As the year 
closes she seems desirous of withdrawing from this position, but 
a compromise has not yet been assured. 

The strained relations between the French and Italian Govern- 
ments still continue, though here also there are signs of improve- 
ment. Signor Crispi, who appears to be more firmly seated in 
power by the reconstruction of his Ministry and the attempt 
upon his life, has accentuated his belief in the importance to 
Italy of retaining her place in the Triple Alliance both in the 
Chamber at Rome and at a banquet in his honour at Palermo, 
The rumours of a treaty between Italy and England have been 
officially contradicted, but it is perfectly well understood, in 
spite of protests supposed to be inspired by Mr. Gladstone, that 
this country could not allow the status quo in the Mediterranean 
to be overturned by the destruction of the Italian navy. 

Spain has, on the whole, been tranquil. Senor Sagasta's 
Ministry still holds its ground, though opposed by Canovist 
Conservatives on the one side and Radicals and Republicans on 
the other. The Queen Regent has presided over the Govern- 


ment of lier infant son with success, and the visit which was 
paid to her by our own gracious Sovereign, during her stay at 
Biarritz, was generally accepted as the tribute of one best entitled 
to judge of public and private merit in a situation so critical. 

Portugal has been undisturbed at home, in spite of the 
succession of a new sovereign and a Ministerial crisis, but both 
the Iberian kingdoms have felt the shock of the overthrow of 
the Brazilian Empire by a military revolt, and the foreign 
policy of the country, especially in regard to England, has been 
both undignified and unwise. The Republicans have been 
stirring, or at least noisy — not, it is suspected, without concert 
— among the Portuguese and the Spaniards alike. In Holland 
the King has been at death's door, and all arrangements were 
made for the severance of Luxemburg from the Netherlands, but 
the crisis has been postponed by an unexpected improvement in 
the King's health. 

Towards her great rival, Germany, the policy of France 
was prudent and circumspect, while the German Government, 
evidently better pleased that the control of French affairs should 
remain in the hands of the Republicans than that they should 
pass into those of General Boulanger, did not encourage the 
polemics of the Press, That national susceptibilities were still 
on the watch for slights and menaces was shown by the indignant 
outbreak of the French newspapers and the scornful reply of the 
Germans which followed an unfounded rumour that the King of 
Italy was to be present with the Emperor at a review at Stras- 
burg. The "League of Peace," indeed, has lost none of its 
importance under the new reign, and though German policy 
strives to maintain friendly relations with Russia, the separation 
of interests has produced visible coldness between the Courts 
and friction between the peoples. The unpleasant incident of 
the attack on Sir Robert Morier, for which Count Herbert 
Bismarck was justly held responsible, led to a momentary tension 
of feeling on the side of England, which, however, was removed 
by Prince Bismarck's cordial reference to this country in his 
speech on the opening of the Reichstag. A diplomatic contro- 
versy with Switzerland about the expulsion of the police agent 
Wohlgemuth looked serious, but has been amicably settled. 
The prosecution of Dr. Geffcken, which excited much interest at 
the close of last year, was dismissed by the Supreme Court. 

But the most remarkable factor in German politics was tlie 


energy with which the young Emperor impressed his personality 
on his own subjects and on all Europe. His almost restless 
activity was displayed in the frequent interchange of visits with 
other sovereigns. He came to England in the summer, and 
was much impressed by the naval review at Spithead. In Berlin 
he entertained the Emperor of Austria and the Kings of Italy, 
Sweden, and Denmark, and, finally, after delays which gave rise 
to much gossip, the Czar. In the autumn he went to Athens, 
taking Italy on his way, in order to be present at the marriage 
of his sister, the Princess Sophia, to the Duke of Sparta, the 
heir to the throne of Greece, and thence proceeded to Constanti- 
nople, where he met with a splendid welcome from the Sultan. 

Austria -Hungary, meanwhile, has been going through a 
period of anxious trial. The death of the Crown Prince, the 
Emperor's only son, in circumstances the most distressing, is an 
event of importance in a monarchy where the personal influence 
of the Sovereign is the main bond between disconnected nation- 
alities and diverging interests. The Emperor has refused to 
give any sanction to the movement for the recognition of 
Bohemia as an independent nation, united to the other parts of 
the Empire by the Crown only, and has roused the anger of the 
Slavs. In Hungary also the system of Dualism appears to be 
endangered by the revival of anti- Austrian feelings and the 
unpopularity of M. Tisza. Austria, Germany, and Belgium 
have been not less troubled than our own country by the labour 
question, strikes, actual or threatened, among the coal miners 
being most prominent, and connected, as it is feared, with the 
spread of organised Socialism. 

The relations between Austria and Russia, arising out of 
their rivalry for influence in Eastern Europe, have been em- 
bittered on the one side by the predominance that Russian 
partisans have won in Servia and by the menacing concentration 
of Russian troops on the Galician frontier, and on the other by 
the sympathy bestowed in Austria -Hungary on the efforts of 
Prince Ferdinand and the patriotic Bulgarian party to escape 
from foreign dictation and obtain recognition from the Great 
Powers. Though Germany has shown not the least favour to 
the Bulgarians, Russia seems to have expected still more from 
her, and, in a moment of candid temper, the Czar startled the 
Continent by declaring that Montenegro was "Russia's only 
friend." Servia may now be added to this category, if not 


Eoumania also. King Milan, who had skilfully played off the 
Servian parties against one another and kept a firm hold on the 
Austrian alliance, suddenly threw up the game early in the 
year, abdicating in favour of his son Alexander, a lad of thirteen, 
who was quietly installed as sovereign under a Council of 
Regents. The pro -Russian party have been from the outset 
dominant in the Regency and the Assembly ; Queen Natalie, 
Milan's divorced wife, has been allowed to return to Belgrade, 
and a policy of ostentatious hostility towards Austria has been 

The situation, however, is evidently one of unstable equi- 
librium. In Bulgaria Prince Ferdinand has held his ground, in 
spite of threats and discouragement, and the opponents of Russia, 
under M. Stambouloff, continue in power. The Porte has shown 
a more favourable disposition towards the existing order of 
things, which is still irregular. During Prince Ferdinand's torn- 
through Austria, Bavaria, and France he was able to strengthen 
the credit of his adopted country by getting a railway loan of 
^1,000,000 contracted for with the Vienna Landerbank. In 
Roumania the disasters that befell M. Bratiano, the fall of the 
short-lived Cabinet which followed, and the accession to office of 
M. Catargi were looked upon as amounting to another Russian 
triumph ; but, after a few months of confused struggle, M. 
Catargi has, in turn, been overthrown, and as to the future of 
Roumanian politics it can only be said that here, too, Austrian 
and German influences have waned. 

Turkey, regarded as a European Power, is chronically afflicted 
with the dread of a rising in Macedonia, for which Servians, 
Bulgarians, Montenegrins, and Greeks, not to speak of more 
distant and more important States, are eagerly watching. So 
far as Greece is concerned, the same thing may be said of the 
disturbances in Crete, which, however, were much exaggerated 
in the reports published by the enemies of Turkey. Such as 
they were, they did not originate in Turkish misgovemment, 
but in the local feuds of the Christian population under a Home 
Rule system. Chakir Pasha, the Governor appointed by the 
Porte, armed the Mussulman inhabitants of the towns, and acts 
of violence subsequently occurred ; but affairs are settling down 
quietly, and the appointment of a Christian Governor instead of 
Chakir Pasha may, it is hoped, lead to the pacification of the 
island. The position in Armenia is more embarrassing, for there 


it is Eussia that is on the look-out for what may turn up, and 
as Turkey had not fulfilled her promises of reform, she cannot 
plead, as in Crete, that autonomy has broken down. Exaggera- 
tion, no doubt, there has been in this case also, but that outrages 
have been inflicted by the Kurds on their Christian neighbours 
is certain, and that the Porte is unable or unwilling to punish 
the guilty seems to be only too clearly proved by the escape of 
Moussa Bey, the chief offender, after an illusory, though pro- 
longed, inquiry, which, according to the most recent accounts, is 
to be reopened. 

Egypt is still, nominally, a province of the Ottoman Empire, 
but Egyptian politics form, in fact, a part of that African problem 
which, as Lord Salisbury lately observed, is studied with a keener 
interest by the Great Powers than any European questions. 
The English administration in Egypt has already produced 
excellent results, which have been made plain by the improve- 
ment in the financial situation, and would be even more so were 
France to assent to the plan for the Conversion of the Preference 
Debt. But that these gains would be swept away by an invading 
torrent of barbarism and fanaticism from the South, if England 
were to withdraw her military force and no other Power were 
to step into her place, has been repeatedly shown by the 
demands made upon the British troops for the protection of the 
frontier. The Dervishes have been again and again repulsed, 
and in August Sir Francis Grenfell inflicted a heavy defeat upon 
them at Toski, killing their chief, Wad el Njumi. The Egyptians 
are not ungrateful for these services, which they know may at 
any moment be required once more, and when the Prince of 
Wales, during his visit to Cairo, put himself at the head of the 
British troops when they were paraded before the Khedive, the 
act was welcomed as a pledge of future protection. 

It is not in Egypt alone that the concentration of the Mahdist 
power at Khartoum has produced serious consequences. The 
Abyssinians were defeated by the Mahdi's followers in the spring, 
when the Negus, King John, lost his life. Further to the south 
the last vestiges of the conquests made in the name of the 
Egyptian Government and in the cause of civilisation by Baker, 
Gordon, and their lieutenants may be said to have been obliter- 
ated. Emin Pasha's equatorial province has been submerged in 
a flood of anarchy, and the slave trade is dominant over the 
whole Soudan. Sinister rumours of the loss of Mr. Stanley's 


relief expedition, as well as of Emin Pasha and his companions, 
prevailed during the spring and summer, but in November came 
the wonderful story of Emin's rescue and the march of Stanley's 
party to the coast, during which important contributions were 
made to geographical science. A serious accident to Emin has 
clouded the rejoicings over this success. 

It cannot be denied, at the same time, that civilising influ- 
ences both on the side of the Congo and on that of Zanzibar 
have been gravely compromised by the victories of the slave- 
dealers. Cardinal Lavigerie's crusade has, however, aroused the 
conscience of Europe, and we may hope that the Anti-Slavery 
Congress at Brussels will result in practical measures for exclud- 
ing the slavers from their foreign markets. Meanwhile the 
Germans have been struggling with native hostility within their 
" sphere of influence," and Major Wissmann's vigour seems for 
the time to have got the better of the enemy. But passions 
have been stirred up which are not to be easily allayed. Dr. 
Peters's expedition, undertaken without the authority of the 
German Government, has met, according to persistent reports 
and probable conjecture, with a disastrous fate, and the quieter 
operations of the British East Africa Company, as well as of the 
missionaries on the East Coast, have been obstructed by the 
animosities bred during recent conflicts. 

Another difficulty, threatening the prospects of British com- 
merce and of British missions on the Zambesi and Shir6 rivers 
and on Lake Nyassa, has arisen out of the revived ambition of 
Portugal to make herself a great African Power. This policy 
was foreshadowed early in the year by the action of the Portu- 
guese Government in seizing the Delagoa Bay railway, under 
construction by an English Company, and handing over the 
works to a Portuguese Company, backed, it was stated, by Dutch 
and German capitalists, and designed to monopolise the traffic 
between the Transvaal and the sea. The organisation, under a 
Royal Charter, of the British South Africa Company, which had 
concluded alliances with native chiefs south of the Zambesi, 
seems to have spurred on Portugal to further advances, for in 
the autumn a decree was issued establishing a new Portuguese 
province inland on both banks of the Zambesi and practically 
barring the advance of other nations in the interior. Lord 
Salisbury promptly protested against this step, whicli would 
have carried the nominal sovereignty of Portugal from the 


settlements on the East Coast to those on the West, but while 
negotiations between London and Lisbon were still going on the 
news arrived of Major Serpa Pinto's attack on our allies, the 
Makololo, and his boasted intention of conquering the country 
up to Lake Nyassa. The Portuguese did not shrink from 
defending this aggression by bringing gross charges against the 
British Consul, Mr. Johnston, and the missionaries. The con- 
troversy is still pending as the year closes, and English war 
vessels have been ordered to Delagoa Bay. 

British interests, indeed, in South Africa are of growing 
importance. Even in the Transvaal the English element, though 
denied political rights by the Boers, is steadily asserting itself, 
through the vast development of the gold and diamond mining 
industries. The Africander movement at the Cape had been 
encouraged by the late Governor, Sir Hercules Kobinson, contrary 
to the views of the Home Government. He has been succeeded 
by Sir H. B. Loch, lately Governor of Victoria, whose place in 
Australia has been taken by Lord Hopetoun. 

In the Australian Colonies the question of federation, both 
Imperial and internal, has been much discussed, but has made 
little practical progress, mainly owing to the rivalry between 
Victoria and New South Wales. The proposal of Sir H. Parkes 
for a Convention of all the Australasian Colonies to consider the 
question has not yet led to any practical result. 

Canada, which is the typical example of colonial federalism, 
has had her own internal difficulties, but, at present, her principal 
anxiety is due to the pending controversies about fishing rights 
with the United States, both on the Atlantic seaboard and in 
Behring Sea. It was at one time feared that the return of the 
Kepublican party to power, especially when President Harrison 
made Mr. Blaine his Secretary of State, would embitter these 
long-standing disputes. Good sense, however, has hitherto pre- 
vailed. Though the modus vivendi is not to be continued, and 
no new agreement has been arrived at, the President, in his 
recent Message to Congress, speaks hopefully of the maintenance 
of friendly relations. 

In domestic politics the Americans have been troubled once 
more with an excessive surplus of revenue and the difficulty of 
disposing of it. Four new States, North and South Dakota, 
Montana, and Washington, were admitted to the Union and 
have organised their Governments. The prosecution at Chicago 


of the murderers of Dr. Cronin has, after a trial of unprecedented 
length, laid bare the machinations of the Clan-na-Gael, and, 
though the punishment meted out to the convicted criminals 
fell far short of their deserts, the proceedings have rivetted the 
attention of the American public and weakened the influence of 
the Irish vote. The Pan-American Congress, consisting of 
representatives from the principal States of North and South 
America, has met at Washington, and is looked upon as a 
recognition both of the Monroe doctrine and of the primacy of 
the United States. Another step in the same direction has been 
taken in the sanction given by Congress to the Nicaragua Canal, 
of which the works were begun in November, and which, it is 
believed, will fill the place of the abortive Panama scheme. The 
collapse of the Empire in Brazil at the first touch of a pro- 
nunciamiento, the exile of the Imperial family, and the proclama- 
tion of a federal Republic were naturally hailed with satisfaction 
in the United States. The history of this extraordinary revolu- 
tion is still incomplete, for though the change of Government 
was cai'ried out, apparently, without the least attempt at re- 
sistance, discontent and disintegrating forces have, apparently, 
already begun to work. 

The high-handed proceedings of the Germans at Samoa early 
in the spring drew an emphatic protest from the United States, 
and the matters in dispute were finally settled at a conference 
in Berlin, on the basis of preserving the respective rights of all 
the Powers concerned, and of providing for the return to his 
native land of Malietoa, the chief whom the German authorities 
had arrested and deported. 

In the Far East Japan has advanced in her imitation of 
European institutions, but that this movement is opposed by 
many is certain. The attempt to assassinate Count Okuma, who 
was, until the recent change of Government, Foreign Minister, 
is a proof that all is not as peaceful as it looks. In China the 
development of a railway system by native agencies has been 
avowed as the policy of the Government, but no practical 
measures have yet been taken to give efi'ect to it. 

Lord Lansdowne's Viceregal administration in India has, so 
far, been eminently successful. Sir D. Barbour's Budget was, 
on the whole, the most satisfactory produced for many years. 
The visit of Prince Albert Victor to our great Eastern depend- 
ency occurs, therefore, at a favourable time. The position of 


the native feudatory States has been much discussed. The con- 
tinued misgovernment of the Maharaja of Cashmere has compelled 
the Viceroy in Council to recommend, and the Secretary of State 
to sanction, his removal from active rule, practical power being 
entrusted to a council under the British Resident. 

The obituary of the year includes a varied list of eminent 
names. The melancholy death by his own hand of the Crown 
Prince Rudolph, the heir of the Hapsburgs, left a more serious 
gap than that of King Luis of Portugal in the ranks of the 
Royal caste in Europe, to which also the Queen Dowager of 
Bavaria, the ex-Empress of Brazil, the Duchess of Cambridge, 
mother of the present Duke, the Prince of Carignan, uncle of 
the King of Italy, and, perhaps. Prince Charles of Monaco may 
be said to belong. 

At home we have lost in Mr. Bright the greatest of recent 
orators, and in Mr. Browning one of the greatest of recent poets. 
The Church of England can ill spare Bishop Lightfoot of 
Durham, the most learned of contemporary prelates. Though 
no other names can be ranked with these, public life and society 
will miss the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Malmesbury, two 
Conservative ex -Ministers ; Lord Falmouth, a distinguished 
patron of the turf ; Lord Fitzgerald, a most capable and high- 
minded Irish Judge, and latterly a Lord of Appeal ; Bishop 
Mackarness, Lord Addington, Lord Blachford, Sir Henry Yule, 
Lord Sydney Godolphin Osborne, better known by his letters in 
this journal signed " S. G. 0." ; Lady Holland, who worthily 
sustained the traditions of Holland House ; Mr. E. P. Bouverie 
and Mr. A. M. Kavanagh, two Privy Councillors, who were once 
familiar figures in the House of Commons ; Sir Charles Ducane, 
Sir Daniel Gooch, Sir Tindal Robertson, Sir Francis Adams, 
Mr. Firth, M.P., and The O'Donoghue. 

In the world of science, literature, and art there have passed 
away Mr. Wilkie Collins, the novelist ; Mr. William Allingham, 
the poet ; Mr. John Ball, a distinguished scientific man, as well 
as author of the Alpine Guide ; Dr. Joule, whose discoveries in 
science have been among the most fruitful of our day ; Mr. 
Warren De la Rue, Sir F. Ouseley, Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, the 
Shakespearian scholar ; Mr. MacDonald, the manager, and Dr. 
Francis Hueffer, the musical critic, of the Times ; Dr. Kennedy, 
Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge ; Dr. Percy, of the 
School of Mines ; Mr. T. 0. Barlow, R.A., Mr. W. Ralston, the 


Kev. J. G. Wood, the popular writer on natural history ; Mr. 
Carl Kosa, the operatic manager ; Mrs. Dallas, formerly Miss 
Glyn, an actress of much power ; Mr. Pellegrini, the caricaturist ; 
Mr. Albery and Mr. F. Marshall, the dramatists ; Mr. F. Clay, 
the composer ; Mr. Martin Tupper, Mr. S. C. Hall, and Miss 
Eliza Cook. 

France has lost General Faidherbe, who won some partial 
successes against the Germans in 1870-71; Admiral Jaur^s, 
M. Chevreul, the centenarian chemist ; M. Scherer, an acute 
literary critic, and lately a Senator ; M. Augier, the dramat- 
ist ; M. Ulbach, the novelist ; M. F^lix Pyat, a Republican 
politician of the most extreme type ; and Dr. Ricord, the 
patriarch of the medical profession. In Italy, Signor Cairoli, 
formerly Premier; in Russia, Count Peter Schouvaloff, once 
well known as the Czar's Ambassador in this country ; and 
Count Tolstoi, the Minister of the Interior ; in Austria, Count 
Karolyi, who represented his country successively at the Berlin 
Congress and in London ; in Germany, Dr. Peters, the leader 
of one of the East African exploring expeditions ; in Spain, 
Marshal Quesada, a veteran of the civil wars, have been mourned. 
In the United States, Jefferson Davis, who so nearly " made a 
nation" of the seceding Confederacy, has passed away. Father 
Damien, the devoted priest who died among the lepers of the 
Sandwich Islands, was a Belgian by birth, but his memory 
belongs to civilisation and humanity. 


Though no events of world-wide importance have signalised 
the year, there have been, both at home and abroad, premonitory 
movements such as portend coming changes in the political and 
social organisation. The most significant of these, which point 
perhaps to a change in the political centre of gravity in the 
not distant future, have taken place outside of Europe, but 
even at home there are signs of the break-up of old parties, 
the consolidation of new forces, and the development of grave 
issues not hitherto presented in a practical form to the public 
mind. Mr. Gladstone's policy of Home Kule has been shattered 
by the disruption of the Irish Separatist faction and by Mr. 
Parnell's reassertion of Nationalist principles in their most 
extreme and impracticable shape. This surprising transforma- 
tion scene has already begun to take effect upon the attitude 
of English politicians and to give prominence to the social 
controversies that Home Rule had thrust aside. It would be 
rash to forecast the ultimate relations of parties on this new 

What is going on, however, in other European countries 
and even in the United States can hardly be misconstrued. 
A large and powerful section of the working classes in every 
old community, and in some new ones, are eager to enter on 
a course of Socialistic legislation, which some who have no 
illusions as to its success would allow to be tried by way of 
experiment, without considering the danger of reconstructing 
the ancient and complex fabric of civilised society. The 
obscure and vague sense of uneasiness thus produced has 
probably contributed to check the militant ardour of the 
great States of the Continent. Peace, though an armed peace, 


has been maintained during the year. In the United States, 
as in this country, parties are in a transition phase ; the issues 
raised at the Congressional elections have produced a new line 
of political cleavage, of which, however, the effect will not be 
entirely visible before the next struggle for the Presidency. 
The ambition of older States to acquire colonial dominion has 
been largely gratified by the treaty arrangements concluded 
during the past twelve months for the demarcation of " spheres 
of influence " in Africa. Germany, in particular, has shown 
remarkable activity in this direction since the retirement of 
Prince Bismarck and the striking assertion of his individual 
initiative by the Emperor William. In the older colonial 
settlements, too, there are symptoms of impending change. 
Among the Australasian colonists the question of federation has 
been discussed in a more practical spirit than at any former 
time, and in British North America the aggressive policy of 
the Washington Government has provoked a healthy outburst 
of independent feeling. 

At home economical questions have been imperatively 
calling for attention. From a business point of view the 
year has been disappointing. The revival of trade in 1889 
was not checked for some months, and when Mr. Goschen 
produced his Budget he was criticised for having taken an 
unnecessarily cautious estimate of the future. But in the 
summer various adverse influences began to make themselves 
felt. Agitation and conflict in the labour market, the decline 
in the price of Stock Exchange securities from a too high level, 
the fluctuations due to the silver legislation and the tariff 
controversy in America, and the bad weather of the harvest 
period caused anxiety and discouraged enterprise. Though 
the crops generally turned out better than had been expected 
towards the end of August, other elements of trouble were not 
removed, and after several weeks of restlessness and tension a 
crisis of the most formidable character was barely averted in 
November, when the great house of Baring Brothers, embarrassed 
by unwise commitments, chiefly in South American loans and 
undertakings, had to apply for aid to the Bank of England 
and was rescued and reconstructed by the action of the Bank, 
guided by its able Governor, Mr. Lidderdale, and supported 
by the guarantee of the principal firms in the city. 

The situation was complicated by a separate financial crisis, 


in the United States, but the prompt and energetic measures 
adopted by the Bank, which imported large sums in gold from 
France and Russia, stayed the movement towards panic. The 
reaction which followed has not carried back prices to their 
former level. Consols, which had touched par just after the 
conversion in 1888, fell in November to nearly ninety-three, 
and the "shrinkage" in other high-class stocks was alarming. 
The rise in the bank-rate and the protectionist policy adopted 
in America have retarded the upward movement of industry 
and commerce, as the latest returns show. 

The most serious dilB&culty, however, was due to labour 
disputes. At the beginning of the year the gas strike in 
South London had ended in the defeat of the men, but the 
wire-pullers of the labour agitation soon renewed offensive opera- 
tions. It is satisfactory that during the financial crisis and the 
fall in values there was no collapse of credit on a great scale. 
The machinery of the bankruptcy law, amended in some im- 
portant points by Sir Albert Rollit's Bill, which was passed at 
the close of last session after a careful examination before the 
Standing Committees in both Houses, was subjected to no 
excessive strain. The extraordinarily severe winter — the 
coldest recorded for nearly fourscore years — has happily 
occurred too early in the season to interfere seriously with 
agriculture. Its effects, however, have been felt in the public 
health, and it has caused much suffering among the poor. 

The friction left behind it by the dock strike of 1889 
lasted throughout this year, leading to local conflicts and 
restlessness, and in many branches of business has induced the 
capitalists interested to make efforts to substitute permanent 
for casual labour wherever possible. At the docks and in the 
allied industries no serious strike occurred in London, though 
more than one was threatened, but the dockers at Liverpool, 
Glasgow, and Cardiff tried with no great success to coerce 
their employers. A more alarming struggle broke out at 
Southampton, where mob violence was at first met by the 
local authorities in a weak and temporising spirit, while, as 
soon as determination was shown, the strike collapsed, and 
was disavowed by the leaders of the movement at head- 

The attempt to proscribe the employment of non-Unionist 
labour was pursued with equal vigour in other directions 


In the gas strike at Leeds the men won a complete, and in 
the South Wales railway strike a partial, victory. Their 
aggression was firmly resisted in the shipping trades, but the 
necessity for defensive combination was quickly brought home 
to the employers. In the autumn a Shipping Federation was 
formed, which has already embraced the principal firms in the 
United Kingdom, and has intimated that if sailors, firemen, and 
stevedores persist in their tactics of exasperation and obstruction, 
it may become necessary to lay up all British shipping for a 
time. Though as the year closes the tension has been renewed, 
this kind of life-and-death contest, with all its perils and losses, 
has hitherto been avoided, for which the public ought to be 
duly thankful. Just before Christmas a railway stril^e in 
Scotland has caused much public inconvenience. The hostilities 
in the shipping trades had their immediate origin in the gas 
strike, and were dictated by the policy which underlies what 
is popularly called the "new unionism," and which aims at 
coercing capitalists by subjecting the community to inconvenience, 
damage, and danger. 

So far were these tactics carried that attempts were made 
not only to turn coal-miners, gas-stokers, and sailors into the 
instruments of this coercion, but to subvert discipline in services 
controlled by the State, such as the Police and the Post Office. 
The paralysis of the former would have exposed society to the 
perils of an unchecked outbreak of crime, and that of the 
latter, as was plainly avowed, would have struck a deadly 
blow at all business. There had for some time been a dispute 
between the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office with 
respect to superannuation, pay, and hours of duty, which 
came to a head when the differences between Mr. Matthews 
and Mr. Monro, the Chief Commissioner, resulted in the 
resignation of the latter. Socialist agitators had begun to 
proselytise among the force and had gained influence over 
many of the younger men ; but though concessions were still 
urgently demanded, it was only in one division that a strike 
was imminent. At Bow Street, soon after Sir Edward Bradford's 
appointment as Mr. Monro's successor, a number of the younger 
men refused to go on duty, and when the worst offenders were 
promptly dismissed, a general turn-out of the division was 
threatened for the following night. The attempt, which 
assembled a dangerous crowd of the criminal and disorderly 


classes opposite the police-station, was a complete failure, the 
loyal men and the military easily coping with incipient 

The agitation among the men employed in postal and 
telegraphic work came to a head just before the police crisis, 
when the Postmen's Union, which had been formed in defiance 
of official orders, promoted a demonstration in Hyde Park and 
a meeting in Holborn Town -hall, where an ultimatum was 
addressed to the Postmaster -General. The department had 
already prepared for a conflict by drawing on the non-Unionists 
and on casual men. While efforts were made to precipitate 
a general strike, the non-Unionists were maltreated and ejected 
from the Mount Pleasant parcel post depot, and at a meeting 
on Clerkenwell Green Mr. Eaikes was warned that, unless all 
" blacklegs " were dismissed, the despatch and delivery of letters 
would be stopped. Decisive measures were taken to meet the 
danger. After full reliefs of non-Union men had been organised, 
the officials made a descent on the Mount Pleasant depot, and 
the riotous Unionists were dismissed. The delivery of letters 
was carried out next morning with little difficulty or delay, and 
after some penal dismissals the discipline of the service was fully 
restored. A similar movement in the telegraph service collapsed 
without an open struggle. The outbreak of insubordination at 
Wellington Barracks, which' led to the despatch of the Second 
Battalion of the Grenadier Guards to Bermuda and the imprison- 
ment of several of the ringleaders, was probably unconnected 
with these events, except as showing that the spirit of social 
strife was in the air. The threatened stoppage of the coal 
supply early in the year, in connection with the gas strike 
and the eight hours' cry, would have been not less formidable. 
A modus vivendij however, between mine -owners and miners 
was secured. 

Meanwhile, the question drifted into politics. Opinion 
among the working classes generally, and even among the 
coal -miners, is much divided in regard to the eight hours' 
movement, which was stimulated from the outside by the 
German Emperor's proposal for a congress on the labour 
question and by the working-men's May -Day demonstration. 
A section of the coal-miners, who were the first to make this 
a political issue, obtained from Lord Randolph Churchill a 
pledge in favour of the Eight Hours Bill, but were discouraged 


by Mr. Gladstone's avowed preference, afterwards whittled 
away in Midlothian, for non- legislative action. Some of 
the ablest leaders of the working men, including Mr. Burt, 
Mr. George Howell, Mr. Broadhurst, Mr. Fenwick, and Mr. 
Bradlaugh, declared against legal compulsion, and Mr. John 
Morley told the Newcastle miners that he could not vote 
for it. The May demonstration in London turned out to be 
quite insignificant. 

At the Trade Union Congress held at Liverpool in September, 
the party of compulsion, strengthened by the recent organisation 
of unskilled labour, overcame the old Unionists, though by narrow 
majorities ; but their victory has alienated many of the best 
working men, especially among the skilled Lancashire artisans. 
At the bye-elections for the Eccles and Bassetlaw Divisions this 
issue determined the mining vote. Mr. Gladstone's most recent 
utterances on the subject at West Calder indicate that he is 
now willing to limit by law the hours of labour in mines. 
Lord Salisbury has forcibly pointed out the economical danger 
of thus admitting a principle which, logically carried out, must 
land us in general State interference. 

Though when the year opened Home Rule was still the 
main plank of the Gladstonian platform, Mr. Gladstone and 
his party were careful to give prominence in their speeches 
to other issues. Besides the labour question, a further re- 
arrangement of the franchise law was demanded, Sir George 
Trevelyan being especially loud in this cry ; disestablishment 
in Wales, and, after a little more show of coyness, in Scotland, 
was accepted as an article of the Gladstonian faith ; stringent 
legislation against the liquor trades was advocated, the land 
laws were to be reformed, ground-rents were to be taxed, local 
government was to be extended to parishes, and, generally," a new 
heaven and a new earth," as some hysterical persons boasted, . 
were to be created by Mr. Gladstone's triumph at the polls. 

As there seemed to be no immediate probability that an 
opportunity would be afforded of putting this prediction to a 
practical test, the Opposition continued to declare that an appeal 
to the constituencies was inevitable and near at hand. The 
Unionists contended, with more reason, that, as Parliament 
had over three years of its legal term to run and as their 
majorities in the House of Commons were steadily maintained, 
no dissolution was at all likely. 

VOL. II 2d 


Mr. Gladstone amused himself after Ms fashion with calcula- 
tions based on the pollings at bye -elections, though material 
was less abundant than in former years. The fortunes of the 
fray were chequered, though the balance inclined, on the whole, 
to the side of the Opposition. A Home Eule attack on the 
seat vacated in the Partick Division was repelled by the return 
of Mr. Parker Smith ; the Unionists won back the seat they 
had lost in the Ayr Burghs, while at Windsor, and later in the 
year in the Bassetlaw Division, they largely increased the 
Conservative majorities of 1885. The Gladstonians, on the 
other hand, captured Unionist seats in Carnarvon, where the 
majority was still smaller than it had been the other way in 
1886, in North St. Pancras, in Barrow, where the resignation 
of Mr. Caine and his appearance as a so-called Independent 
candidate allowed the Gladstonian to come in slightly ahead of 
the Conservative, and in the Eccles Division, where Mr. Koby 
boldly swallowed the Eight Hours Bill, a feat imitated with less 
success by the Separatist candidate in the Bassetlaw Division. 

Mr. Gladstone, however, was as jubilant as if his gains had 
been three times more numerous, and some of his party adopted 
his arguments as an excuse for preaching and practising obstruc- 
tion. The public were unmoved by these tactics until the 
proposals of the Government on the liquor question, adroitly 
misrepresented by the Opposition, stirred the fanaticism of the 
teetotalers. This force, before it spent itself in unreasoning 
extravagance, was of greater use to Mr. Gladstone than his 
wearisome repetitions of his fallacies and mythical tales about 
Ireland or his efforts to gratify the sectional and sectarian 
demands of Welsh and Scotch Radicals without compromising 
himself. It is scarcely necessary to mention that both parties 
carried on the political war, not only in Parliament, but on 
the platform, with unceasing activity. 

Though the Irish controversy was followed, during the 
greater part of the year, with only a languid interest by the 
British public, it necessarily had a large share of the attention 
of Home Rule politicians. Mr. Gladstone was pressed, not 
only by Unionists, but by some of his own followers, like Mr. 
Asquith, to state what modifications he had made in his original 
Home Rule policy. For reasons, however, that have since 
become apparent, he maintained a rigid reserve, which he has 
not yet broken. He and his followers preferred to deal in loose 


charges against the Irish Executive and to profess an unbounded 
faith in the honesty, purity, and veracity of Mr. Parnell and 
his party. 

The Report of the Special Commission, published at the 
moment when Parliament met in February, found not only 
that Mr. Parnell and the majority of his following had engaged 
in a " criminal conspiracy " to defeat the law and to despoil 
owners of property in Ireland, had been allied with and sub- 
sidised by the anti-English faction among the American Irish, 
and had habitually incited to intimidation, knowing well that 
such intimidation led to crime and outrage, but that Mr. Davitt, 
Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Dillon, and five other members of the 
" Parliamentary party " had conspired to establish the Land 
League in order to bring about "the absolute independence 
of Ireland as a separate nation." These findings did not check 
the enthusiasm of the Gladstonians, who dwelt triumphantly 
on the fact that the personal charges against Mr. Parnell had 
not been held to be proved. 

While Mr. Parnell was being praised and feasted by the 
Gladstonians, his lieutenants had entered on a rash course in 
Ireland. Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien had committed themselves 
deeply to the Plan of Campaign and the attempt to back it up 
on the Ponsonby estate by inducing or compelling Mr. Smith- 
Barry's tenants in Tipperary, who had no connection whatever 
with the original dispute, to refuse to pay rent, on the ground 
that their landlord had supported Mr. Ponsonby. A large 
number of the Tipperary tenants gave up their holdings, their 
prosperous shops and comfortable houses in the town, and be- 
took themselves to a village of rude shanties erected on ground 
outside, where they were to wait for their restoration to their 
homes after Mr. Gladstone's victory. 

" New Tipperary," as it was called, was opened in the spring 
by Mr. O'Brien, escorted by some Gladstonian admirers, with 
flaming and defiant speeches ; but the evicted tenants, who, 
though well able to pay, had been coerced into joining the 
conspiracy, complained that the promises held out to them of 
pecuniary and other support had not been kept. Nevertheless 
Tipperary and the Ponsonby estate depleted the Leaguers' 
exchequer. There were, moreover, the stipends of the " Parlia- 
mentary party " to be met, as well as the expenses of the next 
electioneering campaign. 


A mission to America was resolved upon, though, as the 
anti- English fanatics had shown impatient contempt for the 
Gladstonian alliance, the envoys were not easily found. At 
last it was settled that Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Dillon were to go, 
with others not at first named, and the prospect of a partial 
failure of the potato along the west coast, where the summer 
had been disastrously wet, furnished an excuse for another 
appeal to American liberality. Meanwhile Mr. O'Brien and 
his friends had been working vigorously in Tipperary to raise 
the spirits of those who believed in them and to frighten doubters 
and dissentients into submission. Coercion by boycotting and 
outrage had never been more stringently applied. Nowhere 
had incitements to these criminal methods been more openly 
employed. When, soon after the prorogation of Parliament, 
the Irish Executive decided on prosecuting Mr. O'Brien and 
his chief associates for speeches inciting to crime and intimida- 
tion, indignant wrath was expressed among Gladstonians at 
the arrest of the delinquents on warrants, since, it was said, the 
Crown was bound to have trusted to their honour to appear on 

When the trial came on Mr. Morley was induced to accompany 
his Irish friends to Tipperary as a sort of compurgator. A riot 
ensued, in which the police charged the mob who were trying 
to force their way into the court-house. "This outrage" 
figured conspicuously in Opposition speeches till even Mr. 
Morley recognised that not much could be made out of it while 
Irish patriots were bludgeoning one another in Kilkenny. 
Proceedings arising out of this riot were commenced, but have 
been indefinitely postponed. There is a conflict of testimony 
between the witnesses, including Mr. Morley himself, on the 
main issues. At the Tipperary trial Mr. Konan, Q.C., the 
Crown counsel, was able to prove by cumulative and conclusive 
evidence that intimidation had been cruelly practised, and that 
the defendants had organised and advised it. 

Midway in the inquiry Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Dillon, released 
on bail during an adjournment, fled to France, and thence to 
America, where they began to collect money, not, as had been 
announced, for the relief of distress, but avowedly for the 
political "war -chest." A "Famine Fund " previously started 
by politicians anxious to please the Irish voters collapsed. 
Meantime the Tipperary trial went on j no serious defence was 


offered, but every form of obstruction and insult was used to 
discredit and delay the judgment. The magistrates showed 
almost excessive patience and tolerance in dealing with baseless 
objections to their jurisdiction and disgraceful rowdyism in 
Court. In the end several of the defendants were convicted, 
others getting the benefit of a doubt. Mr. O'Brien and Mr. 
Dillon were sentenced to six months' imprisonment each. 
Their defiant language on the safe side of the Atlantic at first 
stimulated subscriptions, but Americans soon found out not 
only that the famine cry was a sham, but that the Irish 
Executive were taking all due care to meet local and temporary 

Mr. Balfour, who had been assailed for the brevity of his 
stay in Ireland, paid an unexpected visit to Western Connaught 
at the beginning of November, and a few days later one equally 
unlooked for to Donegal, in order to discover the best way of 
utilising the promised development of the light railways' policy, 
so as to provide employment for the cottiers whose potatoes 
had failed, and to ascertain what supplementary relief measures 
could be safely adopted. His conclusions on these points were 
afterwards explained in the House of Commons. At the time 
public interest was fixed chiefly on the very encouraging recep- 
tion he met with from the peasantry, and in some cases from 
the priests. The anti-English Press were puzzled and chagrined 
at the discovery that their daily denunciations of Mr. Balfour 
did not deter the people from looking to him for real help in 
time of trouble. 

The Tipperary case was a stock piece with the Opposition 
in the autumn campaign. Mr. Gladstone, in his Midlothian 
speeches, expatiated on the iniquities of the Irish Government 
with more zest than on the topics directly interesting to his 
Scotch audiences ; Mr. Morley recounted on various platforms 
his highly - coloured story of the Tipperary affair ; and Sir 
William Harcourt, at the National Liberal Federation, proved 
that the Eccles election expressed the public judgment against 
the Unionists. On the other hand, Lord Hartington, Mr. 
Goschen, Mr. Balfour, and the Prime Minister in their speeches 
riddled the Separatist case. The Chief Secretary exposed the 
Gladstonian misrepresentations about Tipperary. Lord Harting- 
ton asked what proof there was that the Irish masses would 
acquiesce in limited Home Eule, to which Mr. Morley in- 


dignantly replied that they had Mr. Parnell's assurances of 
1886. This was rather an audacious appeal to character after 
the Special Commissioners had repeatedly discredited Mr. Parnell's 

Immediately afterwards, in the middle of November, came 
the trial of the divorce case, " O'Shea v. O'Shea and Parnell," 
in which the respondent did not produce any evidence or 
practically resist the decree, while the co- respondent, despite 
his declarations of innocence, accepted by the Gladstonians as 
unhesitatingly as those about Home Rule, was not even represented 
by counsel. The case which the Solicitor-General established 
by unchallenged testimony on Captain O'Shea's behalf disclosed 
a long course of low intrigue and unblushing mendacity, 
diversified by disguises, aliases, and ludicrous flights, quite 
consonant with the Unionist view of Mr. Parnell, but astound- 
ing to honest and ignorant Home Rulers. 

Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues held their tongues, however, 
for many days, while some Radicals, like Mr. Labouchere, 
declared that the matter was one to be settled by the Irish 
party alone. This the party proceeded to do at a meeting in 
Dublin, where the Lord Mayor presided, and Mr. McCarthy, 
Mr. Healy, and Mr. Gladstone's former law-officers expressed 
unabated confidence in Mr. Parnell and unqualified contempt 
for English meddling in this peculiarly Irish affair. The 
Roman Catholic hierarchy and clergy were silent. But on 
public opinion in England and Scotland the exhibition of Mr. 
Parnell's depravity had a deep effect. As Sir Charles Russell 
admitted, popular indignation, especially among the Noncon- 
formists, compelled Mr. Gladstone to intervene. Suggestions 
of retirement " for a time " were pressed on Mr. Parnell, but 
he would not listen, and before Mr. Gladstone's objections were 
made public the Irish party, on the first day of the winter 
Session, re-elected their leader without a dissentient voice. Mr. 
Gladstone then published a letter to Mr. Morley declaring that 
the retention by Mr. Parnell of the Irish leadership " at the 
present moment" would reduce his own leadership "almost 
to a nullity." 

Mr. Parnell replied in an address to the Irish people, giving 
details of his confidential negotiations at Hawarden, denouncing 
the intended withdrawal of the control of the police and the 
settlement of the land question from the Irish Legislature, and 


asserting the independence of the Irish party against corrupting 
oflfers of place and dictatorial interference. Mr. Parnell's state- 
ments were contested on several points by Mr. Gladstone and 
Mr. Morley, but the fact remained that Mr. Parnell repudiated 
limited Home Eule and appealed to the Irish Nationalists on 
that issue. 

A violent struggle followed at a meeting of the Parliamentary 
party. Mr. Pamell was in the chair, though by no means neutral. 
All those whose ambitions he had curbed or whose feelings he 
had wounded joined to enforce the Gladstonian excommunication. 
Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Healy led the attack, forgetful of their 
Dublin speeches, and were aided by Mr. Sexton ; but a zealous 
band, including the extreme men, stuck to Mr. Parnell. The 
Irish Bishops at length took heart to denounce the man spurned 
by Mr. Gladstone. The "envoys" in America, except Mr. 
Harrington, declared against him, though not very decisively. 
After days of passionate discussion, over which Mr. Parnell 
presided with unscrupulous partiality, he induced his opponents 
to adopt a so-called compromise, offering to resign should Mr. 
Gladstone's reply to a demand for a statement of his views 
on the land and police questions be held satisfactory by the 

As Mr. Gladstone refused to give any answer at all, the 
majority had nothing to discuss, and had either to surrender 
or to withdraw. They chose the latter course, though it broke 
the compromise they had accepted, and forty-five of them, led 
by Mr. McCarthy, held a separate caucus, at which they voted 
Mr. McCarthy into Mr. Parnell's place. This vote the Parnellites 
treated as null and void. The contest was immediately trans- 
ferred to Ireland, where a seat was vacant in North Kilkenny, 
for which Sir John Pope Hennessy was a candidate. Mr. 
Parnell hastened to Dublin, where the mob was with him as 
well as the organisation of the League, the "physical force 
party," and the Freeman's Journal. He took forcible possession 
of United Ireland, turning out, with crowbar and cudgel, the 
staff who were working it in Mr. O'Brien's interest, and then 
proceeded to Cork, where he was enthusiastically welcomed, 
and where his opponents could hardly get a hearing. 

At Kilkenny it was different. The priests, for whom Sir 
J. P. Hennessy had declared, were active and powerful ; Mr. 
Scully, the Parnellite nominee, had no special influence ; the 


Fenian element was only strong in the towns. The strength 
of the anti-Parnellites was put forth in Sir J. P. Hennessy's 
cause. Mr. Davitt and Mr. Healy, both known to be unfriendly 
to their former leader, bitterly assailed him, and Mr. Parnell 
retorted still more fiercely. 

The language used on both sides far surpassed the worst 
licence of election times in England ; rival mobs, armed with 
shillelaghs, met hand to hand ; and priests and patriots in- 
discriminately took part in the fray. While the issue of the 
strife was doubtful, Mr. Harrington, who stood by Mr. Parnell, 
returned from America ; Mr. O'Brien, who, as well as Mr. 
Dillon, was inclined to remain on the fence, started for Paris, 
to avoid arrest, on landing in Ireland, under the Tipperary 
conviction. Eventually Sir. J. P. Hennessy was returned by 
a majority of nearly two to one over Mr. Scully. But Mr. Parnell 
continued to face his foes defiantly, promising to fight the battle 
out all through Ireland. At the last moment negotiations 
between the two hostile factions have been opened in France 
with Mr. O'Brien as intermediary, but the prospect of a com- 
promise is not clear. 

The spectacle presented by the strife of Parnellites and anti- 
Parnellites in Ireland shook the faith of many Gladstonians in 
Home Kule. Though the Kilkenny election slightly revived 
their spirits, few of them continued seriously to believe that, 
after the exposure of the real character and objects of the Irish 
Home Rulers, Mr. McCarthy could be treated with exactly on 
the same terms as Mr. Parnell. The Liberal Unionists were 
not inclined to stake anything on the shifting purposes of the 
Gladstonians, and Mr. Chamberlain took occasion, during the 
Irish crisis, to propose a closer co-operation in Birmingham 
between Conservative and Liberal opponents of Separatism, in 
the spirit of the general policy necessitated by the anarchical 
attitude of the Opposition in and out of Parliament, and, indeed, 
publicly avowed by Lord Hartington and Sir Henry James. 

The situation thus created was further strengthened for the 
Unionists by the success with which they started their legislative 
measures on the meeting of Parliament in November, when 
the Opposition, utterly dismayed by the faction -fighting of 
their Irish allies, made no effort to carry out Mr. Labouchere's 
threats of obstruction. In the Speaker's absence, through 
domestic affliction, the chair was occupied by Llr. Courtney^ 



but no question of Parliamentary law arose ; the new form of 
reply to the Royal Message, proposed by Ministers to expedite 
debate, proved needless, and the Address was voted on the 
first evening of the session without a division. The foremost 
place was given to the Tithe Bill, in a less complicated form 
than that of last session ; and the Land Purchase Bill, divided 
into two for tactical convenience. Next in order came measures 
dealing with Private Bill business in Scotland and Ireland and 
with Assisted Education in England. Mr. W. H. Smith, in ask- 
ing for the whole time of the House, promised that, if the Speaker 
were got out of the chair on the Tithe and Purchase Bills, and 
if Mr. Balfour's measures of Irish relief were put through before 
Christmas, he would consent to a moderately long adjournment. 
In fact, this amount of work, which usually would have been 
spread over several weeks, was despatched in just a fortnight, 
when the Irish Seed Potatoes and Railway Transfer Bills be- 
came law, and the Houses adjourned to the 22nd of January. 

Both the London County Council and the London School 
Board will have to face new elections in the coming year — a 
fact not without effect on their recent conduct. In both cases 
the rates have gone up ; while the County Council alleges that 
the sole cause is the loss of the coal duties, the Board throws 
the responsibility on its predecessors for lavish outlay on jerry- 
building. Neither body can be said to be at present popular 
with the public. Lord Rosebery's resignation of the chairman- 
ship was felt to be a serious blow to the reputation of the 
Council in spite of the high character of the new chairman, 
Sir John Lubbock, who has been succeeded as Vice-chairman by 
Sir Thomas Farrer. The dog-in-the-manger policy advocated 
by the majority, after the betterment scheme had been rejected 
by Parliament, and their disposition to interfere in non- 
municipal affairs, have not tended to restore confidence. The 
incapacity of women for sitting on such bodies has been re- 
affirmed by the imposition of penalties on Miss Cobden for 
voting in defiance of the law laid down in Lady Sandhurst's 
case. Miss Fawcett's victory over the Senior Wrangler at 
Cambridge may be regarded as a consolation prize for the 
women's rights' party. 

Among many important judicial decisions that delivered by 
the Primate in the Bishop of Lincoln's case was memorable for 
painstaking research and a desire to hold the balance even 


between all ecclesiastical parties. Dr. Barnardo has once 
more come into collision with the Courts through a zeal that 
seems rather careless of the rights of others. 

" General " Booth, a religious philanthropist on a larger 
scale, has appealed to the public on behalf of what he calls 
the "submerged" classes in "Darkest England." He has 
already got a considerable sum towards the million sterling he 
asks for, but his plan and his methods have been subjected to 
a severe and damaging criticism from the civil, the religious, 
the philanthropic, and the economical point of view by Professor 
Huxley, Dean Plumptre, Mr. C. S. Loch, and other competent 
persons. An equally warm but less important controversy on 
publishers' profits originated in a paper read by Archdeacon 
Farrar at the Church Congress, and as the year closes the 
question of American copyright has again come up for discussion, 
owing to the unexpected disposition shown by Congress to grant 
copyright to British authors. Dissatisfaction with the adminis- 
tration of the War Ofiice and the Admiralty has been justified 
by the doubts cast on the serviceable qualities of the magazine 
rifle and of our heavy ordnance, as well as by disasters like the 
loss of the Serpent 

The European situation has not changed during the year. 
The " League of Peace " still confronts France on the one side 
and Kussia on the other, and the strengthening of armaments 
continues. The retirement of Prince Bismarck has had a more 
marked effect on the domestic than on the foreign policy of 
Germany. The Emperor and his new Chancellor, General von 
Caprivi, have abandoned the Bismarckian attitude of reserve 
towards projects of colonial development, and, after the general 
elections to the Reichstag, which wrecked the National Liberals